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Merit Network Installs First REACH-3MC II Telecom Hut in Escanaba

ESCANABA, Mich. – Merit Network, Inc. announced today the installation of the first telecommunications hut as part of the REACH-3MC II broadband stimulus project. The hut was successfully deployed on the campus of Bay de Noc Community College.
REACH-3MC and ARRA logos
In addition to the site placement in Escanaba, telecommunications huts will be installed in the following communities along the REACH-3MC II fiber route: Crystal Falls, Engadine, Iron Mountain, Ironwood, Manistique (MI), Ashland, Marinette, and Poplar, WI.

The telecommunications huts will help Merit Network fulfill the REACH-3MC II goal of improved service to underserved communities. The huts are essential to providing service to community anchor institutions, homes, businesses and local ISPs in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and Northern Wisconsin.

Equipment to be housed in the telecommunications huts includes signal regeneration, colocation gear and other “optronics” that Merit Network and REACH-3MC II Sub-recipients will use to power their next generation, fiber-optic networks. The huts also protect the network from uncertainty by providing a permanent location for critical network gear.

The huts are prefabricated units, Precision Quincy XP Series. Precision Quincy has manufactured the huts to custom meet the needs of the REACH-3MC II project.

Earthcom, Inc. of Lansing performed the installation in Escanaba. Earthcom was selected through an open RFP process as telecommunications hut vendor for REACH-3MC II. They will lead the installation of the remaining REACH-3MC II huts in the Upper Peninsula and Northern Wisconsin.

REACH-3MC II telecommunications huts are jointly owned by Merit Network, Inc. and REACH-3MC II Sub-recipient, Peninsula Fiber Network.

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.