If you’re receiving this email, you already know the GREAT things happening in the southwest Michigan Rural Broadband Revolution. But do you realize that fiber internet and phone are really by-products of a much bigger project and initiative?

Many of you know that we attempted to provide a reliable internet solution for many years, from dial-up to WildBlue satellite to Broadband over Power Lines. Several attempts, and several epic failures for multiple reasons. But all that changed in 2013. We knew we needed to invest in robust, two-way communication across our electric grid to maximize utility and member benefits with ever-evolving technology, so we committed to a major investment in a fiber communications system. We quickly figured out that we could leverage that investment and provide fiber data and voice solutions to our members. Bam!

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It’s all part of the evolution of Team Midwest as the Utility of the Future. When you combine a smart utility grid with what is commonly referred to as the Internet of Things, life as we know it changes. From the utility perspective, we gain access to information and data that allow us to serve you more efficiently and effectively. And from the consumer perspective, you have an improved experience with your utility, and access to a whole new world of advanced home technologies – products and services that will save energy and make life more convenient than ever before.

Team Midwest is growing like crazy as we prepare to be your Utility of the Future. We expect to add at least 30 new employees over the next five years to support these major initiatives, and another 30 or so in the following 10 years to support ongoing growth and operations. We recently launched our Utility of the Future website to share our story, and the resulting need to build a new home to house the growing operation. We encourage you to take a look at what’s coming, and subscribe to our blog to keep up on what we’re doing related to smart grid, fiber, our new building project and everything else. Great things are happening!

And speaking of great things …

roku-tvOne of our newest fiber families is enjoying a new television experience, thanks to Midwest Connections. Heather Lewis signed up for new fiber service during our special holiday promotion late in 2015, and her name was drawn as the winner of a 43” High Definition LED Smart TV. #TeamFiber Rep Greg Dabideen had the honor of making the call and presenting the TV. Heather lives in Three Rivers with her husband and two children. They previously used Frontier for internet service, and are really enjoying their buffer-free experience while watching Hulu. No more delays while doing homework, watching television or playing games. Congratulations to the Lewis Family!