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Grand Rapids becomes MI's first 4G city

By Lindsay Smith, Michigan Public Radio Network



The city of Grand Rapids has become the first in the state with a WiMax 4-G wireless network. Sally Wesorick the city's Wireless Project Manager.

"WiMax to me a good description is WiFi on steroids," she says.

For 6 years, she's been working on blanketing Grand Rapids with the high speed wireless network. This week, more than 100 square miles of service is active.

"I don't even know that we can totally imagine all of the things that people will use this for," she says. "It's kind of a build it and they will come' and I think the innovation of our community will really take off."

For the city, Wesorick says it will mean better service as police, firefighters, and other mobile employees have ready access to a ton of information, including live video streaming. Grand Rapids will get the service for free in exchange for allowing the company to use city property for towers.

The city has also worked out a deal that would give up to 10,000 low income residents a huge discount on service.

reWorking Michigan
For more on job creation and workforce evolution in Michigan, visit WKAR.org/reworkingmichigan

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