Fewer than 60% of Michigan households had internet service in 2007 and over 12% still had dial-up from their ISP. An average download speed of 5.3 mbps in 2009 put the state just above the national average and in 23rd place, although improved from 4.0 mbps in 2008.
The Michigan Economic Development Corporation released a study in 2001 that indicated development of a state-wide broadband service infrastructure would increase Michigan's gross state product by $440 billion and create 497,000 jobs over ten years. This led to a commitment to completely wire the state by 2007.
In 2005, the Michigan Broadband Development Authority announced a $6 million loan to Arialink Broadband to make an affordable high speed broadband service available to five rural communities. This was achieved through a hybrid network of fixed wireless internet access and fiber optic cable. The same year, wifi access was provided free in the state's House of Representatives.
November 2007 saw the state receive $20.9 million over three years to extend broadband to healthcare providers in rural areas. It invited bids from the private sector for the winning internet provider to increase availability at affordable cost.
For funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, 250 projects were submitted to improve broadband internet services at a cost of over $2 billion. Sixteen were forwarded to the NTIA in October 2009 from either state bodies or internet providers. In December, TDS Telecommunications Corporation received an $8.6 million grant to expand broadband through a DSL service in Northern Michigan. The Northern Michigan Broadband Cooperative was also seeking funding exceeding $20 million to increase availability in rural areas.
Bordered by four of the five Great Lakes plus Lake Saint Clair, Michigan has 64,980 lakes and is the only state to consist entirely of two peninsulas. The Upper Peninsula is heavily forested, relatively mountainous and isolated from the main political and population centers. The state has a continental climate, although the Upper Peninsula has more severe weather with shorter summers and cold winters.
Michigan is the center of the American automobile industry and two of the top four pizza chains were founded there. It has a well-educated and highly skilled workforce, several leading research institutes, a thriving tourist industry and varied agriculture. The state capital is Lansing and the four largest cities are Detroit, Grand Rapids, Warren and Sterling Heights.
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Cities in Michigan likely to have, or soon to receive, fiber optic cable internet services include Detroit, Grand Rapids, Warren, Sterling Heights, Ann Arbor, Lansing and Flint. Locations in MI with highest population counts will be targeted first by providers, though relatively high speeds can be achieved with dial-up or DSL through companies such as Netzero and Charter Communications Cable.