LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Aric Nesbitt on Thursday introduced legislation that seeks to improve access to reliable broadband internet by increasing incentives for expanding broadband infrastructure in underserved and unserved areas.
“So many modern services rely on the ability to connect to the internet,” said Nesbitt, R-Lawton. “Many jobs and educational opportunities are becoming increasingly mobile. This is an issue that has plagued communities in my district for far too long. I am happy to have taken the first step in getting this issue resolved.”
Senate Bill 163 would promote investment in broadband equipment, with the desired result being more high-speed internet service to underserved and rural areas of the state. The legislation hopes to prompt investors to upgrade their equipment and expand services to areas that currently cannot receive high-speed internet.
“Many of those underserved areas are rural and farming communities,” Nesbitt said. “Ensuring high-speed service reaches these areas will not only help families at home but will attract the job creators we need to invest in local economies.
“Reliable internet service is also a property value issue,” Nesbitt said. “Homes without access to good internet are less desirable and harder to sell, which in turn lowers their value. I think we owe it to residents in rural areas to get this done. It is 2019, and good reliable broadband service should not be such a rare commodity.”
The legislation has been referred to the Senate Committee on Finance for further consideration.