Expanded internet coverage in Benzie County announced by Charter Communications


BENZONIA – An event to announce Charter Communication’s intention to bring Spectrum Internet services to more homes in Benzie County was held Monday at Grow Benzie.

Representatives from Spectrum, along with Senator Curt VanderWall, R-Ludington, Rep. Jack O’Malley, R-Lake Ann, members of the Benzie County Board of Commissioners and other community leaders joined members of the audience for a “revolutionary” ceremony.

According to Spectrum representatives, the internet service provider intends to use $1.2 million from the federal Rural Development Opportunities Fund and invest an additional $6 million to build a fiber network. optics that will bring Spectrum services to 1,335 underserved residents and small businesses in Benzie County.

Charter also intends to invest in its broadband network in neighboring counties as well, as part of a $5 billion investment in a multi-year, multi-state campaign to bring fiber to homes and businesses across the country.

“We are here today to fill a critical gap,” said Karen Coronado, Michigan State Government Affairs Manager at Charter. “There is a need for high-speed Internet for businesses, for students and for families.”

Coronado said Charter has already installed 65 miles of network in Benzie County, with another 110 miles planned.

VanderWall said he spoke with county officials about Charter’s Spectrum Internet Services expansion and was thrilled with what it meant for Benzie.

“We’re excited for what this will do for students, for businesses, and really, what it will do for the growth of the community,” he said. “This is just the start of great things to come.”

O’Malley said the internet has come a long way and is now as essential as electricity.

“I salute Charter, I salute the people of Benzie County for working with them to make this happen and it’s exciting.”

Art Jeannot, county commissioner, said it was all part of county officials working with internet service providers to expand coverage.

“We have a good working relationship with Charter; we entered into a more formal relationship with them about three years ago,” Jeannot said. “They are one of many vendors we work with and we look forward to working with vendors to fill the county’s internet service gaps”

Benzie County officials have entered into partnerships with suppliers such as Eclipse Communications to help expand internet coverage in Benzie County and earlier in the year conducted an investigation on the cover with Merit Network for identify where service was needed.

After the presentation, a “grand opening” took place, for the planned construction, and the public was invited to watch a fiber cable splicing demonstration.

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