DCS Technology study and mapping helps MEC apply for $27.6M in ROBIN funding for four Counties
March 15, 2023
Midwest Energy & Communications (teammidwest.com) (MEC) has developed a $56.4M plan to reach over 9500 unserved homes across four Southwestern Michigan Counties. The plan will expand internet service to unserved residences and businesses in 60 townships, villages, and/or municipalities in Berrien, Van Buren, Cass, and St. Joseph counties. The plan is based on the mapping work from DCS Technology Design for Berrien and Van Buren counties, which account for 8,732 of the unserved homes, or almost 92% of the project.
DCS mapped over 114,000 occupied parcels between the two counties, identifying more than 21,500 unserved parcels. After adjusting for other grant programs (RDOF, CMIC, ReConnect) that were either in progress or not yet started, Van Buren still had 4500+ and Berrien had 8800+ unserved parcels with no immediate plan. This included more than 2400 parcels "over reported" as served that were successfully challenged through the FCC BDC challenge program, clearing any possible challenges to their eligibility for funding from other service providers.
If successful, MEC will build more than 720 miles of fiber network that will reach more than 9500 currently unserved homes and pass another 7900 currently served homes providing them with a choice for service providers.