Lansing, MI (PRWEB) October 25, 2013
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The 2013 Michigan Broadband Conference at the Kellogg Center at Michigan State University in Lansing drew more than 300 attendees and another 150 via Livestream yesterday. The statewide broadband technology conference was co-hosted by Connect Michigan and the Library of Michigan to share best practices for community planning and raise awareness of broadband’s economic growth potential.
“Broadband Internet access and adoption is fundamental for revitalizing Michigan’s economy and for enhancing the quality of life for its residents,” said Eric Frederick, Connect Michigan’s executive director. “We are excited to be working with the Library of Michigan, and the United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development, and several regional sponsors to bring together nationally recognized broadband and technology experts with local leaders to provide attendees with best practices and insights into leveraging this transformative technology.”
From township officials to representatives from the Michigan Department of Agriculture, and from representatives of three Native American tribes to the major technology providers that could potentially serve them, the level of audience diversity was indicative of the need and desire to leverage technology to enhance and sustain the economic standing and quality of life aspects of Michigan communities.
The agenda featured state and national leaders such as Michigan Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley; Michael Finney, president and CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation; Blair Levin, Aspen Institute Fellow and chief architect of the National Broadband Plan; Dr. Johannes Bauer, Michigan State University; Steven Webster, Prima Civitas; author Howard Rheingold; Tom Ferree, Connected Nation; John Summersett, COMLINK, LLC; Ron Mellon, USDA – Rural Utilities Service; and Jim Turner, USDA – Rural Development.
The economic growth the state could realize through increased broadband adoption in homes and businesses was a key theme of the day.
“Our number one focus is creating more jobs in Michigan. If we can get a 12,000 jobs impact by just getting more adopters in our state to connect to broadband, that's creating jobs the easy way,” said Finney during the afternoon economic panel.
To recognize the outstanding contributions individuals and organizations have made to increase broadband service in the state, Connect Michigan created the Michigan Broadband Hero Award.