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History of Merit

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A History of Excellence and Innovation

Since 1966, Merit Network has been a leader in networking and Internet technologies. Founded by Michigan State University, the University of Michigan, and Wayne State University, Merit established networking in Michigan long before the term "Internet" was invented.

Merit pioneered many of the practices and protocols used in today's Internet. In 1987, a Merit-led consortium (including IBM, MCI, and the Michigan Strategic Fund) won a $39 million grant from the National Science Foundation to re-engineer and manage the NSFNET, the first national high-speed Internet backbone for research and education. The NSFNET led directly to the growth of the commercial Internet.

Merit's REACH-3MC project expanded Internet access across Michigan, bringing gigabit speeds to more locations in the state.

Merit Network Timeline: Two articles document Merit's early history: This monograph details the growth of the NSFNET:

Past Merit News Newsletters

Merit Connections Newsletters

The Merit Connections Newsletter began in 2011 and is published periodically.

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