Presque Isle Electric & Gas Co-op (PIE&G) is pleased to announce selection by the Post Road Foundation for a study to evaluate the costs and benefits of deploying a fiber optic communications network to homes, businesses and other institutions in northeast Michigan. Northeast Michigan and PIE&G are one of only five communities in the nation to be selected by the Post Road Foundation. The PIE&G study, targeted for completion by September 30, 2018, will be used to evaluate means for deploying high-speed internet and intelligent infrastructure in PIE&G’s service territory in the most effective ways possible for digital inclusion, efficient resource management and economic growth. Funding for the Post Road Foundation program, and related research at Harvard University, has been provided by The Rockefeller Foundation.

PIE&G’s successful application was the result of collaboration between PIE&G, Wolverine Power Cooperative (WPC) and Target Alpena -Development Corporation. According to Tom Sobeck, President and CEO of PIE&G, “This partnership between PIE&G, WPC and Target demonstrates what can be accomplished when we work together to achieve common goals on behalf of our rural communities. The degree of economic success in our region depends very much on the ability of key community stakeholders to identify opportunities where working together maximizes future economic development and sustainability in northeast Michigan.”

The President and co-founder of the Post Road Foundation, Waide Warner, commended PIE&G and the other community partners: “We are very gratified by the exceptional response to our program from a number of deserving applicants around the country, but the leadership of PIE&G was particularly impressive. We are excited to have the opportunity to work with PIE&G, the other communities, and our research colleagues at Harvard, to explore the potential for bringing high-speed internet to underserved areas of America. We are also grateful to The Rockefeller Foundation for the funding that made this program possible.”