HARBOR Inc. Becomes A Connected Certified Community

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Connect Michigan Announces Technology Assessment Results

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We are honored that Connect Michigan has recognized HARBOR, Inc. for its program to make broadband more available in our area

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HARBOR, Inc. has become a “Connected” certified community under Connected Nation’s Connected community engagement program. The event took place today at Harbor Springs High School where the results from the assessment and future plans for broadband expansion were unveiled.

HARBOR, Inc. is the tenth Michigan community, and twenty-fourth in the nation, to receive this recognition under Connected Nation’s Connected community engagement program. Charlevoix County became the first certified community, nationally, exactly two years ago.

“HARBOR, Inc. has brought together a diverse group of organizations, municipalities, community members, and service providers to address the regional issue of broadband availability and its use,” said HARBOR, Inc. Executive Director Rachel Smolinski. “We have made great progress through the efforts of our team and the support of Connect Michigan, but we have more work to do.”

Joining in today’s commemoration of HARBOR, Inc.’s accomplishments included HARBOR, Inc. Chairperson, Kathryn Breighner, Harbor Springs Public School Superintendent Mark Tompkins, Suttons Bay Public Schools Superintendent, Chris Nelson, Cross Village Township Supervisor Gene Reck, Emmet County Director of Planning and Zoning, Tammy Doernenburg, Michigan Public Service Commission, Director of Telecommunications, Robin Alcona, and others at the Harbor Springs High School Performing Arts Center. The event included a tour of Harbor Springs school facilities to demonstrate achievements that the school district made in enhancing the use of digital technology in the classroom and supporting the use of technology within the community.

“We are honored that Connect Michigan has recognized HARBOR, Inc. for its program to make broadband more available in our area,” said HARBOR, Inc. Chairperson Kathie Breighner. “Without Connect Michigan we would not have the script, tools, or steps to make this happen. Because we engaged in this, the service providers paid attention to us and have upped their game in providing services to our community.”

HARBOR, Inc. will conduct a Technology Summit this fall to continue its efforts to increase awareness and provide education to increase broadband access, adoption, and usage in Emmet County.

This fall, Connect Michigan, in conjunction with the Schools, Health & Libraries Broadband Coalition, is gearing up to host the 2014 Michigan Broadband Conference.

The event will be held on October 29, 2014, at the Radisson Hotel in downtown Lansing, and will bring together community leaders from education, libraries, economic development, local government, healthcare, and technology sectors to share and learn best practices for expanding broadband access, adoption, and use throughout the Great Lakes State and region.

About HARBOR, Inc.: HARBOR, Inc. is a non-profit regional forum comprised of governments and citizens in the City of Harbor Springs and the townships of Little Traverse, West Traverse, Pleasantview, Readmond, Friendship, and Cross Village within Emmet County. More information on HARBOR, Inc. projects and programs may be found at http://www.harborinc.org.

About Connect Michigan: As the designated entity for broadband mapping and planning in the state of Michigan, Connect Michigan is a public-private partnership between the Michigan Public Service Commission and Connected Nation to work with local governments, businesses, and citizens in the goal of increasing broadband service in the state’s underserved areas. For more information about what Connect Michigan is doing to accelerate technology in Michigan’s communities, visit http://www.connectmi.org.

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Connected Nation developed the Connected Community Engagement Program to help guide a community through an assessment of its overall broadband and technology status. Connected Certified Communities have measurably demonstrated their proficiency for effective Access, Adoption, and Use of broadband supported technologies. Connected Nation through its partners provides a national platform for recognizing those communities that excel across these important benchmarks. Funded by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), this effort is part of the State Broadband Initiative. http://www.connectednation.org/get-connected

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Jessica Ditto
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