Michigan Townships Association

Township engagement in BEAD challenge process is critical to the state accessing $1.6 billion in funding

Townships have a key role in helping the state access $1.6 billion available in federal funding to get every community and Michigander connected to high-speed internet access and assist the Michigan High-Speed Internet Office (MIHI) locate all non-connected areas. Funding from the Broadband Equity, Access and Deployment (BEAD) program will allow investment in technologies to serve Michigan residents far into the future. To get to that level, local units of government, residents and others are asked to help during the State Challenge Process, open now through April 23. View the Michigan Broadband Map for served, unserved or underserved locations within your community. The challenge process allows you to confirm whether the areas in your township are served to improve access in your community. You can view MIHI’s Eligible Challenger webinar to learn what types of challenges will be accepted, what type of evidence will be required, and how to use the State Challenge Portal to submit challenges and evidence. A Community Anchor Institutions webinar is also available for viewing.

Individual members of the public can also provide data issues that they have with a high-speed internet connection or with their speed of service. Concerns can be reported through a tool developed by Merit Network. (The MIHI portal is for eligible challengers, including townships and other local units of government. The Merit website is specifically for individuals.)

MIHI will hold virtual office hours during the challenge submission phase—no registration is required, and you can join anytime during that window. Links to the MIHI support hours are:

For more on the challenge process, visit MIHI’s BEAD Program webpage. Grants would begin to be issued in 2025 to help get networks to every doorstep in Michigan. Funding would be available to not just internet service providers, but to nonprofits, local governments and other private businesses.