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Merit Member Wins Broadband Hero Award

Charlevoix County Commissioner Chris Christensen was recently honored as a Michigan Broadband Hero during an awards ceremony at the 2014 Connect Michigan Broadband Conference. Christensen, a Northern Lakes Economic Alliance (NLEA) board member, was recognized for his contributions to broadband expansion in Charlevoix County.
Chris Christensen
An excerpt from the NLEA press release on the award:

Many years before the term broadband was a household word, Chris as a business owner, was aware of the significant need for high speed Internet to serve his rural community. Once elected as a commissioner, he was able to move his vision forward working with many local units of government, the local school district, public libraries, the local hospital and medical facilities, the County and their many departments and boards including emergency services, Merit Network and many local Internet providers. Chris has participated in and facilitated many meetings with various groups including; local units of government, broadband committees, the local economic development organization, and business groups most likely to benefit from access to high-speed Internet connectivity.

In his capacity as a County Commissioner, Chris was able to use his foresight, knowledge of current and future infrastructure and resources, and connections to put Charlevoix County, in rural Northern Michigan in a strategic position for broadband expansion. Working with County Departments including GIS specialists, Chris facilitated the mapping out of primary routes that would serve all the critical entities in the County. When Merit announced they were to receive funding through the American Recovery Act Reach Program, Chris approached them with the completed maps. Having this ground work in place expedited and accelerated the expansion of broadband fiber throughout Charlevoix County.
Merit Network congratulates Chris Christensen for being named a Michigan Broadband Hero and thanks him for his contributions to broadband expansion in Charlevoix County.

Charlevoix County has been a Merit Member since July 2013.