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As the way we use technology has evolved from opening files on floppy disk drives to cloud computing, so has the demand for internet connectivity. The way education, business, health care, and social interaction are increasingly being conducted makes it clear high-speed internet service is no longer a luxury – it is a necessity both now and into the future.
But broadband service in Ottawa County continues to be inconsistent – many areas lack service, experience poor service, or residents simply can’t afford high-speed internet. Ottawa County is actively working to address these persistent gaps in high-speed internet service through a new Digital Inclusion Strategy.
This initiative is about establishing complete, fixed broadband access across all areas of the County, and eventually West Michigan as a whole. Building off the County’s previous efforts to help facilitate broadband expansion countywide, Department of Strategic Impact and Ottawa Area Intermediate School District (OAISD) representatives began meeting in early 2020 to lay out a multi-phased strategy to address digital inclusion gaps.