Over the past decade, Michigan cable companies have invested more than $5 billion in private investment in the state to offer cutting-edge services, including broadband access to more than 90 percent of Michigan families. Cable broadband provides service at the highest speeds generally available to residential and small business users – well over the speed of DSL service offered by most traditional phone companies. Cable companies have spent their own capital to build out lines across Michigan, and often serve local governments and schools at special rates.
Overall, according to Connect Michigan, commissioned by the MPSC to map where broadband is available in Michigan, 96.79 percent of households have access to fixed broadband service. When you include mobile broadband service, 99.7 percent of households have service.
It is clear, the vast majority of Michigan families have broadband service in one form or another thanks to private investment, particularly by cable companies. For government to pay subsidies to create additional providers is not a wise use of tax dollars.
Allowing investment in future innovation: Cable companies have been leaders in rolling out new high speed broadband technologies.
Public, education and government (PEG) channels are channels set aside by cable providers and operated by local public, education and government entities.Michigan cable companies pay an effective tax rate (PEG and franchise fees) of 6.25 percent – or more than $70 million a year.
Currently, however, satellite companies pay nothing to local units of government. The MCTA supports competition on a level playing field for all television service providers – and that doesn’t exist today.