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Highline awarded ROBIN grant for U.P.

ESCANABA — Highline, a fiber-to-the-home internet and telephone service provider, was recently awarded an approximately $22 million Realizing Opportunity with Broadband Infrastructure Networks (ROBIN) grant. Highline will provide $3.8 million in match funds that will create new fiber broadband connections to 3,074 unserved homes in the Upper Peninsula.

“We applaud the State of Michigan’s High-Speed Internet Office for recognizing the Upper Peninsula’s significant internet access problem and entrusting Highline to serve the homes impacted by the ROBIN grant. It is our privilege to extend Highline’s fiber network to these households that currently cannot work from home, participate in on-line learning, or enjoy the streaming services available today,” said Bruce Moore, president and general manager, Highline.

“I commend Highline’s commitment to the U.P. The unique challenges of our short construction season, dispersed population, and remote location should not mean we get left behind. With this award and upcoming federal funding opportunities, Highline will be able to provide a quarter of all Yoopers access to fast reliable internet,” said U.S. Representative Jack Bergman (R-MI).

Starting in 2021, Highline began construction of a 5,800-mile fiber optic network that will connect over 65,000 Upper Peninsula and Thumb area unserved, underserved or unhappily served homes with up to 10 Gigabit internet access. “It is very rewarding for the Highline team to help so many families and individuals who had little hope for the best internet service prior to building our network,” said Moore.

“In today’s digital age, high-speed internet is essential, whether it’s for work, school, healthcare, or just staying connected with friends and family,” said U.S. Senator Gary Peters (D-MI). “After working to secure this funding at the federal level, I’m pleased that it will support Highline’s efforts to deliver high-speed internet to thousands of Michiganders across our state.”

“Federal and state broadband grants enable life changing connections for consumers. We are so pleased to see innovators like Highline gain access to resources they can pair with their substantial private investment to build a fiber internet network. Now, we need to keep programs like the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) and the Universal Service Fund (USF) intact so Highline and other community-focused internet service providers around the country can maintain these connections and keep them affordable for decades to come,” said Mike Romano, EVP, NTCA-The Rural Broadband Association.

Highline will start construction of the ROBIN locations in June of 2024.

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