Ranking 19th in the USA in the area of broadband access, Michigan is in the top 40% of states with the best internet. Michigan’s average statewide download speed of 113.3 Mbps is not remarkably fast when compared to some even lower-ranking states, however 91.0% of Michiganders have access to what is considered high-speed internet service. Broadband access varies from county to county, but one of the highest concentrations of coverage occurs in the southeast corner, toward the bottom of the ‘thumb’ of Michigan’s famous mitten shape.
The Digital Divide in Michigan
The phrase ‘digital divide’ is often used when referring to the technological rift between those who have access to the latest telecommunications technologies at an affordable price and those who do not.
When it comes to wired broadband affordability, Michigan is slightly ahead of the rest of the nation. Affordability data reveals that 56.0% of Michiganders have access to a monthly internet plan that costs $60 or less. On a nationwide scale, only 51.5% of Americans have access to an internet plan at that same low price level.
Currently, 809,000 people in Michigan are left without access to a wired internet connection capable of 25 Mbps download speeds. Another 360,000 people don’t have access to a wired broadband connection at all, and 816,000 Michiganders only have access to one internet provider at their place of residence, despite the fact that there are 269 internet providers operating within the state.
The cities with the best combination of internet pricing, coverage, and speeds in this uniquely shaped state are Sterling Heights, Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, and Flint. At this time, Sterling Heights is the highest-ranking city in Michigan when it comes to broadband connectivity.
Internet for Rural Areas in Michigan
On the flip side, the worst-connected cities in the ‘Great Lakes State’ are Arnold, Sidnaw, Copper Harbor, and Winn, with Arnold ranking lowest in Michigan. No residents of these cities have any access to wired broadband internet.
To fund statewide data collection and broadband development, the Connected Nation Michigan program has been awarded $4,755,684 in federal grants since 2010. Federal infrastructure grdata hereants amounting to $108,574,985 have also been awarded toward broadband infrastructure projects throughout Michigan.
Additionally, a Public Safety Broadband Program was “established to support Michigan’s role in the national endeavor to build a Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network (NPSBN) for First Responders.”
The above information is taken from both public and private datasets. Learn more about our data here.