How to Effectively Expand Internet Access in Michigan
The state of Michigan and its municipalities are seeing billions in government money to expand high-speed internet across the state. This amount of money carries real opportunities — to expand broadband, close the “digital divide” and make it easier for citizens to work and go to school. But it also carries real risks — waste of taxpayer dollars, encouragement of inefficient technology, a new cast of companies and consultants pushing for ever more spending and government-owned networks with a history of failure.
So how much money is the state getting? How and where should it be spent? What have lawmakers done or should they do to protect taxpayers? How do we ensure technology that meets what people really want? Come hear from a panel featuring experts in technology, industry and lawmaking who will share their thoughts at this unprecedented time.
James Dunstan serves as the General Counsel to TechFreedom. He has more than 37 years of private practice experience in a technology-focused practice, including telecommunications, media, computer game, and outer space law. Jim spent 17 years at the telecom boutique firm Haley Bader & Potts (10 years in management), and headed the Telecommunications and Information Technology Group at Garvey, Schubert & Barer from 2000-2006. Jim founded his own firm, Mobius Legal Group, and continues that private practice.
Matt Groen is the executive director of the Michigan Cable Telecommunications Association. A graduate of Michigan State University, where he received his bachelor’s degree in Political Theory and Constitutional Democracy from James Madison College, he has over a decade’s worth of experience as a respected and effective leader for the cable industry. He has worked on key legislation affecting the cable industry in our state, including access rate restructuring and multiple rewrites of the Michigan Telecommunications Act.
Rep. Michele Hoitenga is state representative for Michigan’s 102nd legislative district. She is the chair of the House Communications and Technology Committee and serves as the vice chair of the Regulatory Reform committee. She lives in Manton.
Jarrett Skorup is the senior director of marketing and communications at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. He is the author of, “A Broadband Toolkit for Local Governments” which discusses ways that Michigan cities can expand access to high-speed internet.