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Merit Network Announces REACH-3MC Webcast on September 22, 2010

ANN ARBOR, MI – Merit Network, Inc. announced today a webcast to take place on Wednesday, September 22, 2010 at 1:30 p.m. EDT. The webcast will update the public on Merit Network’s implementation of REACH-3MC funding.
REACH-3MC and ARRA logos
Merit has brought over $100 million in federal ARRA broadband investment to Michigan since January. Over the next three years, Merit will use those funds to build a 2,300-mile backbone network across unserved and underserved areas in the Lower and Upper Peninsulas of Michigan. Merit and eight different commercial partner organizations will use the fiber to help improve broadband access in these rural and remote communities.

The webcast on September 22 will provide a comprehensive update on Merit’s progress since January, including information on its second award, information on project RFPs, community outreach, communication planning, and upcoming work. The audience will be able to submit questions by email during the webcast to be answered on air.

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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The REACH Michigan Middle Mile Collaborative (REACH-3MC) will build 2,287 miles of open-access, advanced fiber-optic network through rural and underserved communities in Michigan’s Lower and Upper Peninsulas. The network will also provide backhaul to key connection points in Wisconsin and Minnesota. Led by Merit Network, Michigan’s research and education network, REACH-3MC includes sub-recipients from the private sector to make broadband readily available to households and businesses that lack adequate service options in the 52 counties that make up the project service area. REACH-3MC is funded by a two grants (Round I and Round II) from the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), commonly referenced as the Stimulus Package.