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Invest in U.P. infrastructure

Apr 16, 2018 by

Tom Watkins –

The Upper Peninsula should not be treated with a cold shoulder. Rebuilding the Soo Locks and improving broadband coverage in the U.P. would be a way to show the Yoopers some love, while investing in our collective future.

Why is it that I can get better internet and cell phone connecting access in rural China than I can in some spots in rural Michigan — especially the U.P.?

This thought hit me as I blogged my trip through rural Yunnan Province recently and reflected on my prior train trip from Beijing to Lhasa, Tibet and wandering around Urumqi, China where I was as isolated from civilization as a person can be.

Sections of Michigan’s U.P. currently have no or spotty access to broadband internet and cell coverage. This is simply unacceptable.

Last year, the population dropped in 13 of the U.P.’s 15 counties, continuing a slide that began in 2000, according to Census Bureau estimates released in March. The U.P.’s population has fallen 4.4 percent from 2000 through the current 2016 estimate of 303,181. Technology connectivity could help reverse this trend.

Source: Column: Invest in U.P. infrastructure

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