The Michigan Moonshot Broadband Summit is November 9th

Need better Internet access in your community but don’t know where to start? Or maybe you’re in the middle of a community broadband project but have hit a roadblock?

Be one of 100 broadband champions attending the Michigan Moonshot Broadband Summit at the one-day event on Tuesday, November 9th in Traverse City, Michigan. 

The Michigan Moonshot Summit is a day-long conference focused on helping representatives of local governments, community anchor institutions, and economic development groups navigate the hurdles involved when pursuing a regional or community broadband project. The event will include workshopping opportunities where attendees can collaborate with industry thought leaders to address impending issues and identify solutions.

Merit, a statewide educational and research network run by Michigan’s public university system, is hosting the event. Michigan Moonshot is Merit’s effort to improve Internet access in the state by collecting accurate data, disseminating educational resources, influencing policy decisions, and connecting communities to funding.

“From determining ownership models and drafting network designs, to navigating the grant landscape, developing public-private partnerships, and deploying mapping initiatives, this year’s focus is singular — ACTION,” reads the Moonshot Summit website.

To attend this year’s event, “attendees must be a Merit Member and/or Broadband champions who are part of regional planning, building, and running efforts; economic development groups and local governments; or, institutions, community anchors and municipalities addressing the ‘digital divide.’”

Breakout Sessions and Speakers

The first breakout session of the Moonshot Summit will assist municipalities in “Navigating the METRO Act.” 

Aspen Wireless Founder and President, Jim Selby, and Municipal FTTP Program Manager, Mike Reen, will walk communities through METRO Act requirements to provide an understanding of the mandatory steps communities are required to complete before constructing their own broadband infrastructure.

The second breakout session will assist communities seeking out federal and state broadband grant opportunities. 

Chris Barnes, Grants Development Consultant for Grants Office, LLC, will attempt to answer – What funding opportunities are out there? Who needs to be involved in a particular grant application? And, what are the best practices for putting together a competitive grant proposal? 

The day will include remarks from industry experts, including:

  • Francella Ochillo, Executive Director, Next Century Cities
  • Kimberly McKinley, CMO/Deputy Director, UTOPIA Fiber
  • Kathryn de Wit, Project Director, Broadband Access Initiative
  • Bruce Patterson, Solution Services Director, EntryPoint

Register for Moonshot Broadband Summit on Merit’s website. View the Summit agenda here.