State Rep. Beau LaFave, of Iron Mountain, this week voted for a pair of proposals working to expand effective broadband services to more areas in the Upper Peninsula, including in Delta, Dickinson and Menominee counties.
While some providers deem rural areas not cost-effective for services, House Bill 4266, proposed by state Rep. Triston Cole of Mancelona, makes it easier for electric cooperatives to build and expand broadband networks on existing infrastructure and within existing easements. Many cooperatives already have infrastructure in place and are equipped and eager to work with unserved areas.
“This is a creative way around a problem that we’re facing in our communities as to how to get high-speed internet access or faster internet connections,” LaFave said after the House voted to advance the proposals. “People across the state, including those in the U.P., need this technology in the world we live in today. They need it to conduct business. They need it to attract more business. Children need it to learn in the classroom. I was pleased to support a measure that will help bring it to them.”
HB 4266 protects against legal issues other states have faced as they have tried to employ similar strategies. Because of the potential for litigation, progress has been slowed as cooperatives decide whether to risk building broadband infrastructure or update easements. Corresponding legislation, HB 5266, deals with pole attachments and offers more incentive to traditional broadband providers – encouraging more competition and benefitting consumers.
The plans now move to the Senate for consideration.
LaFave, of Iron Mountain, said the proposals would protect nursing home residents, extend unemployment benefits, and safely reopen local unemployment offices and Secretary of State branches in the wake of the recent Michigan Supreme Court ruling that struck down the governor’s coronavirus-related executive orders.
State Rep. Beau LaFave, of Iron Mountain, today said he is frustrated that Gov. Gretchen Whitmer vetoed his bill to help hunters with physical disabilities. LaFave’s measure, House Bill 4332, would have allowed the use of air-powered bows for firearm season. Hunters with specific disabilities would have been allowed to apply for a permit from […]
Wednesday the Michigan Senate approved a bill sponsored by State Rep. Beau LaFave, of Iron Mountain, that will open more hunting opportunities for hunters with and without physical disabilities.