April O'Neil / news@WHMI.com

Surf Internet, a provider of fiber-optic internet service in the Great Lakes region, announced that access to their fiber network will soon become available to thousands of residents in Livingston County.

The company recently secured nearly $17 million in funding through Michigan’s Realizing Opportunity with Broadband Infrastructure Networks (ROBIN) grant program.

The funds will be used to connect over 3,600 Livingston County residents and businesses to Surf’s existing high-speed fiber network.

The funding is a catalyst for expansion of high-speed internet in the rural northern and western areas of Livingston County.

Fiber-optic internet service provides faster connectivity compared to traditional Wi-Fi, with speeds about 20 times faster than regular cable internet and 80 times faster than DSL, according to Hewlett Packard. Fiber lines are typically installed underground, but can exist aerially via utility poles, depending on the location.

Surf Internet already has significant momentum in growing their fiber network throughout the county, having already installed fiber in Fowlerville, Howell, Iosco Township, and Cohoctah.

Fiber installation is currently underway in the neighboring towns of Stockbridge, Weberville, and Willamston in Ingham County, and is expected to eventually expand to nearly 30,000 households in the region.

Residents and business owners wanting project updates can visit Surf’s construction page at the provided link.