By Jessica Mathews /

A project to expand high-quality, high-speed internet in Genoa Township is being well received.

The Board of Trustees earlier approved a contract with Howell-based MISignal to build and install high-speed broadband facilities for unserved and underserved areas. The cost is $750,000, which is being paid for with federal American Rescue Plan Act funding. Broadband was specifically stated as an eligible use for the funds.

It was reported at the last board meeting that residents have been reaching out to thank the township and inquire about the project. Supervisor Bill Rogers said when COVID hit, they discovered just how badly connectivity is needed - especially for those trying to work at home or for schooling. He said the township had the opportunity and some funding to work with so they wanted to jump on it and get the project rolling.

Rogers commented further that there’s a little bit of irony involved because when he was with Livingston County as a commissioner, they were working with Oakland County to try and tie things together. He said he hates to admit it but that was a long time ago and now looks like they’re finally going to make something happen, at least for the underserved or non-served.

Rogers told WHMI he knows people are anxious and some have been curious about the timing of the work, noting documents from MiSignal gave some general ideas for the construction phase. He noted that MiSignal already applied for easements with DTE and got ahead of that curve, adding they’re continually proceeding and intend on dropping some lines pretty quick.

Maps of routes and more information will be posted on township website once it becomes available. Rogers said they’ll keep the community informed about when things are starting and how they’re progressing, which he thinks is extremely important.

MiSignal will be accessing public easements to run the new fiber-optic lines, which are generally areas where power or utility poles are located. Field management teams will notify residents as construction commences in each area. In some cases, teams may need to access residential yards of driveways as lines are constructed. All MiSignal personnel will wear highly visible branded uniforms and carry company ID cards, which can be presented upon request at any time.

Contingent on permission from DTE Energy, the first phase of construction would encompass 90 days, and then a second and third phase at 45 days each. During the third phase, Backbone 1 will be installed from Grand River and Chilson Road to Chilson and Brighton Road. Backbone 2 will be installed from Grand River and Golf Club to Golf Club and Hacker Road.

A press release from the township is attached. Photo: City of Fenton.