Good News For Our Friends In The U.P. – Michigan company teams up with Microsoft to bring faster internet to Upper Peninsula

Federal lawmakers and members of the Trump administration are also looking to make internet access more reliable in remote locations.

During the American Farm Bureau Federation's annual meeting in Nashville, President Donald Trump praised farmers and said he'd act on issues brought up in an agriculture task force he created last year. As part of that, he signed presidential executive orders to "provide broader and faster, and better internet coverage."

The Federal Communications Commission currently tracks data on broadband options in the U.S., but some lawmakers are hoping to improve that system.

Legislation sponsored by U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-West Virginia, and cosponsored by U.S. Sen. Gary Peters, D-Michigan, passed last week in the Senate aims to improve the reliability of mobile wireless coverage data available to "reflect the real-world experiences of consumers in rural America," according to a March 2 release from Manchin's office.

The ranking Democrat on the Senate Agriculture Committee, Michigan U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, called broadband a priority when addressing members of the Michigan Agri-Business Association in January.

"If we want to truly expand and create jobs all over Michigan and the quality of life that we want in small towns as well as big cities, you have to have high speed internet," Stabenow said at the time.

U.S. Rep. Jack Bergman, R-Watersmeet, has called broadband access a growing need for farms and businesses in Michigan that contribute more than $101 billion to the state economy.

In a recent statement, Bergman's office applauded the partnership between Packerland and Microsoft and said the Congressman would continue to support policies to make high-speed broadband more affordable and accessible.

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Author: Lauren Gibbons