LEO launches $238M grant program to provide internet to unserved areas

Published: Jan. 19, 2023 at 2:23 PM EST
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LANSING, Mich. (WNEM) – The Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO) is launching a $238 million grant program to provide high-speed internet to unserved locations throughout the state.

The Michigan High-Speed Internet office (MIHI) opened the application window for the Realizing Opportunity with Broadband Infrastructure Networks (ROBIN) grant program, which will provide federal funding through the Coronavirus Capital Projects Fund for high-speed internet to unserved areas, LEO said.

“The mission of MIHI is to create a more digitally equitable state where every Michigander can leverage technology to improve their quality of life,” said Susan Corbin, director of LEO. “The ROBIN Grant Program will provide the dollars needed for the development and expansion of broadband infrastructure to underserved areas and increase internet access and affordability to many Michigan families and businesses.”

ROBIN is eligible for the following applicants:

  • Internet service providers
  • Those licensed under the MI Telecommunications Act
  • Franchise holders under the Uniform Video Services Local Franchise Act
  • Any entity currently providing broadband service in the state.

Partnerships between communities and internet service providers are also encouraged, LEO said.

“MIHI has developed detailed educational materials to give potential ROBIN applicants the guidance and tools they need to make informed decisions,” said Eric Frederick, Michigan’s chief connectivity officer. “We are excited to officially launch the program and provide funds that are a critical part of Michigan’s broadband expansion plan. ROBIN will allow internet service providers and public-private partnerships to develop broadband infrastructure to the state’s unserved areas.”

More information on this funding can be found here.

LEO said the application window will close at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, March 14.

Questions can be sent to LEO-MIHighSpeedInternet@michigan.gov.