3 Michigan companies investing millions for 90-mile internet route from Southfield to Lansing

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Internet provider 123NET, with headquarters in Southfield, and two other Michigan companies announced plans to build a 90-mile fiber route connecting Southfield to Lansing on Jan. 4, 2022.

Three Michigan companies have announced plans to invest millions of dollars to build a new 90-mile fiber route between Southfield and Lansing, a project they say will enhance connectivity options in underserved areas.

The multimillion-dollar investment will bring optical fiber opportunities to Lansing, Okemos, Williamston, Webberville, Fowlerville, Howell, Brighton and other municipalities along the path, according to a Wednesday morning press release.

Underground construction on the network has begun and will continue for approximately 18 months, the release states.

“We are excited that both business and residential customers will benefit from the added capacity and reliability that this high-speed broadband fiber brings to our region,” said Collin Rose, president of Owosso-based internet and phone service provider DayStarr Communications, which is involved in the project.

The other Michigan companies are internet service provider 123NET, with headquarters in Southfield, and Marquette-based network provider Peninsula Fiber Network.

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Rose said his company has been striving to provide the best communications services to customers for over 20 years and 10 years ago recognized that an all-fiber optic network was the best way to do that.

It’s not clear where the fiber cable will run or which communities along its track will benefit, but some rural officials in Livingston County say better internet is a big need.

“Even before the pandemic, that was a big need for our residents,” Cohoctah Township Supervisor Mark Fosdick said. “We always heard from residents that they need better internet connections out here. (AT&T) U-verse covers a portion of our township. It’s not the best, but they can do Zoom meetings and other stuff. During the pandemic, whenever we had to do Zoom stuff, we would go over to our house and do it. We couldn’t even do a Zoom at our town hall because the internet was just so bad.”

Dan Irvin, 123NET’s president and CEO, said creating the best possible network requires multiple, diverse routes between population centers and his company has 25 years of experience bringing fiber into underserved areas.

“Continued investment in Michigan’s telecommunications infrastructure is both prudent and necessary,” said Scott Randall, Peninsula Fiber Network’s general manager. “We are happy to partner with 123NET and DayStarr to strengthen our mutual position as leaders in the state telecommunications industry and to help achieve the state’s goal of ubiquitous broadband coverage for all residents and businesses.”

Businesses and municipalities along the route can contact the businesses for service availability and construction information on the route. More information can be found at www.123.net, www.pfnllc.net and www.daystarr.net.

Contact Bryce Airgood at 517-267-0448 or bairgood@lsj.com. Follow her on Twitter @bairgood123.

This article originally appeared on Lansing State Journal: Plans underway to build internet route from Southfield to Lansing