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Merit Network Honored as a Michigan Economic Bright Spot

ANN ARBOR – Merit Network, Inc. received a Michigan Economic Bright Spots award from Corp! Magazine at an awards breakfast held on Tuesday, June 8, 2010 at the Michigan State University Management Education Center in Troy, Michigan.

The publication’s annual award recognizes Michigan-based companies that are experiencing success despite an ailing economy. The Michigan Bright Spot award honors companies that are more than three years old; Michigan based or has a significant presence in Michigan, and has remained profitable during the last fiscal year. The criteria considers nominees that have grown, are involved in a Michigan economic development or redevelopment project or are a part of an emerging industry

“Merit was selected as an honoree for this award due to the economic growth and job creation expected from the Merit REACH-3MC project,” according to Elwood Downing, Vice President, Member Relations, Communications, Services & Professional Learning. Merit will soon begin the work of building a 1,017-mile fiber-optic network to several areas of Michigan providing high speed connectivity to rural, un-served and underserved areas of the state. The REACH-3MC project was made possible by Merit’s successful grant award for $33.3 million as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) NTIA Broadband Stimulus initiative. Merit is currently in due diligence on a Round II proposal that would add an additional 1,200 miles to its fiber-optic network.

Donald Welch, president and CEO further stated “We are honored to be recognized as an organization that is helping to drive Michigan’s economy forward and for making Michigan a better place to live and work.”

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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