Over a decade ago I had an opportunity to create a rough draft for a business plan
to bring high speed broadband internet to Northern Michigan with the Northern Lakes Economic Alliance. It was called the Northern Michigan Broadband Cooperative, and to be honest, it seemed like a pipe dream. Between the logistics and infrastructure costs I could not see it being an economically feasible plan without significant public funding.
Today, however, the rural Northwest Lower Peninsula of Michigan is already seeing some properties connected to high speed fiber internet, and the network is rapidly growing through a subsidiary of Great Lakes Energy Cooperative called Truestream. For anyone living or thinking of living in an area serviced by Truesteam this is very exciting news, and their plans to expand are huge! Much of the Petoskey area including Alanson are slated to be connected sometime this year, and if all goes well the Harbor Springs, Pellston, and Cross Village areas may soon be next. Check Truestream’s site for planned service areas as well as a 2019 construction update.
So what’s this about home values?
Areas lacking high speed internet are often not a relocation consideration for home buyers or businesses despite being an otherwise desirable place to live and work. According to a study published by the Fiber Broadband Association, values of homes with access to fiber increased 3.1%.
High speed internet is becoming an essential requirement in daily life. We rely on it to stay connected to the world, learn, work, play, and even manage our increasingly “smart” homes through devices like WiFi thermostats and video doorbells. As Americans increasingly work from home, and streaming video services also gain popularity the need for fiber only increases.
Undoubtedly, access to reliable and affordable high speed internet will boost the quality of life for many, and open the door for opportunities we would not otherwise have. It will be very interesting to see how fiber impacts our lives and local economy over the next few years.
Are you excited for fiber? How will it impact your life? Post in the comments below!
Author: Jared Hammond, Managing Associate Broker, REALTOR, Association Manager