LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — More than 70,000 previously unserved Michigan homes will get connection to high-speed internet, thanks to $203 million awarded in federal funding.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan High-Speed Internet Office on Thursday announced the funding as part of the first round of the Realizing Opportunity with Broadband Infrastructure Networks (ROBIN) grant program.

“One of the biggest hurdles we need to overcome to jumpstart economic development in places like Northern Michigan is access to high-speed internet,” said state Rep. Betsy Coffia (D-Traverse City). “I am thrilled to see more homes and businesses will be connected to this vital service to help kids complete their schoolwork and entrepreneurs reach their customers.” 

In total, the ROBIN grant program will provide $238 million in federal funding in order to support high-speed internet connection to more than 90,000 unserved locations throughout Michigan.

MIHI will announce later this fall a second round of recommended projects to utilize the rest of the funding from the ROBIN program. The second round will be subject to a 45-day comment and objection period.

“ROBIN is the first piece of the puzzle in getting all Michiganders connected and we are eager to get the funds out the door,” said Eric Frederick, Michigan’s chief connectivity officer.