Central UP Broadband Task Force


CUPPAD is currently working with partners on broadband connectivity initiatives for the central UP. Access to high speed internet is essential for today’s workforce, schools, and the local economy. On this page you will find broadband resources, Broadband Task Force meeting materials and schedules, and progress reports.

As the COVID-19 pandemic has shown us, internet access is not equitable, especially for places like the rural Upper Peninsula. Residents who lack access to broadband or cannot afford a home internet connection are unable to participate in telehealth, virtual learning, telework, civic engagement and many other activities that those who are connected are able to use every single day.  Addressing the broadband divide has never been more important.

BBTF Meeting Schedule 2023

The Broadband Task Force Meetings for 2023 are as follows. Each meeting will be from 11am to 12:30pm, EST. Any changes will be posted here as soon as possible.

  • Meeting #1 - Friday, February 17
  • Meeting #2 – Friday, May 19
  • Meeting #3 – Friday, August 18
  • Meeting #4 – Friday, November 17


The Central UP Broadband Task Force is made up of local and regional stakeholders from across all disciplines who have made high speed internet availability a priority for their community. The Task Force meets quarterly throughout the year, providing educational insights, project updates, resources for sharing, and best practices.

BBTF Member list

News & Updates

August 18, 2023

The Central Upper Peninsula Broadband Task Force met to discuss the recent developments in broadband technical assistance and funding. Chris Greene Hutchings from the MI Moonshot Project and Charlotte Brewersdorf from Merit presented on BEAD program updates, the challenge process, timelines, and the application process for interested parties. We also had Tim Jaska from MPower Solutions, a software and GIS network integration specialist working on fiber network solutions.

May 19, 2023

The Central Upper Peninsula Broadband Task Force met to discuss the recent developments in broadband technical assistance and funding with John Holman, the Michigan representative from the USDA-Rural Utility Service Agency. He explains the inner workings of this program and answers questions. We also had updates from MI Connected Future Listening Tour with Tom Stephenson of Connected Nation. The Listening Tour has been in the UP with meetings in Watersmeet, Marquette, and Sault Saint Marie. 

February 17, 2023

The Central Upper Peninsula Broadband Task Force met to discuss the MI Connected Future Listening Tours and Workshops from the MEDC and LEO happening all over the state of Michigan. We also talked about the Michigan Health Endowment Fund grant opportunity, as well as the ROBIN grant opportunity.

We are four weeks away from the ROBIN Grant Program application deadline. ROBIN grant applications are due by 4:00 p.m. EST on March 14, 2023. ROBIN is a high-speed internet last mile and middle mile infrastructure competitive grant program with $238M in project funds from the US Treasury as part of the Coronavirus Capital Projects Fund. All ROBIN information can be found on the MIHI website here.

November 18, 2022

Central U.P. Broadband Task Force Meeting #2 took place on November 18th in a virtual format.

August 22, 2022

The Central U.P. Broadband Task Force met for the first time on August 19th, 2022 to discuss current and continued efforts in broadband connectivity.

Presenters included:


Affordability & Digital Literacy Resources

FCC Releases Broadband Funding Map

Released: May 15, 2023

The Office of Economics and Analytics, in conjunction with the Wireline Competition Bureau, announces the release of the Broadband Funding Map. The Broadband Funding Map and the map’s underlying data can be found at https://fundingmap.fcc.gov/.

Digital Literacy Workshops Coming Early 2023

November 2, 2022

Connected Nation is partnering with AT&T to offer free, in-person, and virtual digital literacy training workshops. Their aim is to increase digital empowerment and knowledge for residents, working towards digital equity and access. These workshops will be available starting in January 2023.


Digital Skills Workshops: Literacy Workshops facilitated by Connected Nation in partnership with local libraries, clubs, and other nonprofits.  Libraries and other nonprofits are eligible to sign up to schedule these free workshops.

Teens Teach Tech: Powered by AT&T, this program harnesses teens' technology experience and innate talents to teach digital skills to the community. Startup funding is available.

The Achievery: Created by AT&T, The Achievery is a free digital learning platform designed to make distance learning more engaging for K-12 students.

Internet For All: Michigan Coordination Workshop

August 18, 2022

States and territories across the nation have Signed On to the Internet For All Initiative and committed to connecting their communities to reliable high-speed internet for less through the Broadband Equity Access and Deployment and State Digital Equity Planning Grant Programs. These programs will provide more than $48 billion for infrastructure deployment, skills training and access to technologies essential for Americans to connect with their communities, their democracy, and one another.

The Affordable Connectivity Program

The White House has announced the Affordable Connectivity Program, granting qualifying households a discount of up to 30$ per month for internet service. Finding out if you qualify is fast and easy. Visit getinternet.gov today!

Tribal households can qualify for larger discounts, including 100$ off a connectivity device.


U.P.-Wide Broadband Webinar

This webinar was held on March 25th, 2021 and its purpose was to inform residents and stakeholders in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan of the recent Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) and how planned projects will bring high-speed connectivity to rural areas. We were joined by Tom Stephenson from Connect Michigan and James Salter from the Atlantic Engineering Group (AEG). The presentation is followed by a question and answer session.

Rural Digital Opportunity Fund Auction

The Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) was awarded through the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and aims to bring high speed internet connections to rural areas. The majority of Upper Peninsula areas were won by the Atlantic Engineering Group, who plans to install fiber lines before 2024, increasing internet speeds and connectivity to underserved areas.

RDOF winners
Central Upper Peninsula Planning and Development Regional Commission