Gary Taylor and his wife, Michelle Milline, have a home in northern Michigan's Benzie County that's tucked away from busy highways and developed towns. Located not far from Lake Michigan, the house affords the couple a life mostly free from the stresses of urban life. But it's not without a need for modern connection. For Taylor, who owns a small business, internet access is more necessity than luxury. "It's not life or death, but it's pretty devastating," he said. The couple shares internet with a home next door owned by Milline's father, Gary Mehrer. It's a $100 monthly plan with limited data that often runs out before the month's end. The family adjusts. Taylor and Milhone keep their Ironhorse Western and Cycle Wear storefront in Honor, about 10 miles away, instead of moving it to their home because it has better web connection, something vital to the shop's operations. Mehrer takes a laptop to the Interlochen Eagles Club to order medication and communicate with his Veterans Administration doctors. He gets up in the middle of the night, when internet speeds are faster, to do online research. He pays $49 per month to operate his life-alert his emergency medical response device through a satellite because his internet connection is unreliable.
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