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In September 2021, the Board of Commissioners approved an investment of $15 million in County general funds and American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) dollars to address issues of broadband connectivity in Washtenaw County. The goal of the investment is to operationalize the recommendations of the county’s Broadband Taskforce and connect every household in Washtenaw to high-speed broadband internet. The need for access was exasperated during the Covid-19 pandemic as the need for telemedicine, virtual school and remote work was made glaringly apparent. Because of this investment, the County is on track to become one of the first counties in the state with every household connected to broadband internet.
County Administration and staff have been working to operationalize the broadband allocation. In late 2021, an RFP process was completed and Washtenaw County contracted with DCS Technology Design for Project Manager services. The DCS team began working with county staff and the Broadband Taskforce to get up to speed and plot out next steps. Contract negotiations for service providers are on-going as of March 2022.
More information about the county’s broadband work can be found here. An updated timeline will be shared once contracts are complete and that information becomes available.