On June 20, Develop Iosco was notified by the Michigan Office of High Speed Internet (MIHI) that a project for the Quad Counties of Iosco, Arenac, Alcona and Ogemaw, was awarded $15.4m in funding to expand high-speed internet access to unserved and underserved locations across the communities. MIHI’s Realizing Opportunity with Broadband Infrastructure Networks (ROBIN) grant program will provide $238 million in federal funding through the Coronavirus Capital Projects Fund to support the deployment of high-speed internet to approximately 100,000 unserved locations throughout the state.
Develop Iosco, in conjunction with the Iosco County Controller, made the initial recommendation to the Iosco County Board of Commissioners to hire an internet consultant to assist with high-speed internet expansion in April 2022. The County interviewed, vetted, and ultimately retained Chris Scharrer of DCS Technology Design LLC at a May 2022 Commissioners meeting. Through the consulting project, internet service provider (ISP) Point Broadband Fiber Holding LLC was identified and subsequently submitted the grant application. Out of 154 applications submitted by 40 unique applicants, 24 projects submitted by 11 applicants were selected to move forward as ROBIN Initial Grant Recommendations (IGRs).
“This award represents significant collaborative between units of government, residents, community organizations and business owners with Develop Iosco facilitating the process - underscoring the need for continued coordination for projects that impact economic development in Iosco County and the region,” said Gloria Brooks, President of Develop Iosco. Inc.
Jamie Carruthers-Soboleski, Iosco County Controller/Finance Director, said that “Iosco County is proud to have been able to leverage use of its American Rescue Plan Funds in the form of a $45,000 investment through the hiring of DCS Technology Design LLC which in turn brought to fruition an almost $15.4 million grant to provide high-speed internet services to northeast Michigan including a portion of the under/unserved areas of Iosco County.”