MARION — After months without a broadband provider, Marion once again has Internet service thanks to the help of a regional company and the work of the Osceola County Broadband Expansion Team.

The village lost its high-speed Internet capability in the spring, according to Osceola County Community Development Coordinator Dan Massy. To counter the situation, he sent emails to providers around the state, letting them know of the opportunity at hand. A meeting was established with Stanton-based Casair.

"After seeing the results from the Osceola County Broadband Survey that Dan coordinated, we felt that we would be a good fit to bring our services to the area and began our due diligence," said Casair President Steve Meinhardt. "Casair has always been dedicated to serve rural areas of Michigan where communities are limited in their choices for true high-speed Internet. As we are going through our expansion project we are always seeking out for other locations where we feel that the service would benefit communities the most."

Two towers, in Highland and Middle Branch townships, will be able to provide unlimited data broadband of speeds up to 1MB, 3MB, 5MB and 10MB in a range of seven to 10 miles.

Massy said the Internet availability can only mean positive things for Marion and its residents.

"This is just going to open up a whole new world," Massy said. "If you're going to have any economic development, you're going to need broadband. With any education service, you're going to need it."

Meinhardt agreed, adding he is happy to help provide the rural area of Marion with additional opportunities.

"Fast, reliable broadband is necessary in rural areas for education, culture, entertainment, telemedicine, economic development, e-commerce, working from home and just basic everyday communication," he said. "We are excited to expand residential and business services into the area."