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:
- Merit— Who, What, and Why (PDF)
By Eric M. Aupperle. Merit Director from 1974 to 1988, and President from 1988 through 2001. Aupperle provides a first-hand view of the origins of the Internet.
- A Chronicle of Merit's Early History
By John Mulcahy. Focuses on the political and technical beginnings of Merit and the Internet.
- NSFNET Final Report (PDF)
The 44-page document outlines the partnerships and developments between 1987 and 1995.