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Merit Network and Alpena Public Schools Collaborate on Alpena Area Fiber

ANN ARBOR – Merit Network and Alpena Public Schools have reached an agreement on a fiber IRU (indefeasible rights of use) that will allow Merit Network to use the fiber optic path from Alpena High School in Alpena, Michigan to Long Rapids Elementary School in Lachine, Michigan.

The 20-mile fiber link from Alpena to Lachine will be used to bring high-performance research and educational networking to the northeastern part of the lower peninsula, including the Alpena area. Merit Network’s high-speed backbone network will be able to reach Hillman, Michigan and in the future, extend to Rogers City, Onaway, Cheboygan, Mackinaw City, and other communities in the upper Northeastern part of the lower Michigan peninsula area.

The new 1-gigabit-per-second fiber connection is part of Merit’s long-term strategy of moving towards a facilities-owned network infrastructure that provides reliable, high-performance networking capabilities to research and educational organizations.

In addition, the fiber IRU will enable Merit to provide network flexibility to Alpena Public Schools and Hillman Public Schools and to the Alpena Regional Fiber Consortia community.

About Alpena Public Schools:

Alpena Public Schools, located in the cultural, economic, and educational hub of northeast Michigan, is a Class A district. It serves a population of some 4,700 students in 8 elementary schools, a junior high for grades 7-8, and a high school for grades 9-12. The school district also operates preschool programs and an alternative high school/adult education center.

One of the largest geographic districts in the State of Michigan, Alpena Public Schools covers more than 620 square miles, encompassing all of Alpena County and, in Presque Isle County, all of Presque Isle Township and a part of Krakow Township.

Officially established as Michigan’s first county-wide school district in 1963, Alpena Public Schools represents an aggregation of business people, farmers, professionals, service employees, children, parents, retirees, and clergy, all proud of their beautiful, bay-side community.

About Merit Network

Merit Network Inc., is a nonprofit corporation owned and governed by Michigan’s public universities. Merit owns and operates America’s longest-running regional research and education network. In 1966, Michigan’s public universities created Merit as a shared resource to help meet their common need for networking assistance. Since its formation, Merit Network has remained at the forefront of research and education networking expertise and services. Merit provides high-performance networking and IT solutions to Michigan’s public universities, colleges, K-12 organizations, libraries, state government, healthcare, and other non-profit organizations.

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