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Merit Network issues open call for Partner on Round II Broadband Stimulus

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Merit Network, Inc. announced today an open call for commercial partners to participate on a Broadband Stimulus Round II fiber build. Service providers interested in partnering on the build are encouraged to participate in a conference call this Wednesday, February 3, 2010 at 9:00 AM EST.

Merit will submit an application to the Broadband Technologies Opportunities Program (BTOP) that proposes to build high-capacity fiber in rural, unserved and underserved areas in the Upper Peninsula and Northern Lower Peninsula. The registration link provides further detail about the location of the proposed fiber routes.

Merit seeks ISPs who will provide either Middle mile or Last mile service to homes and businesses in the proposed service area of the application it will submit to the Comprehensive Community Infrastructure funding category of BTOP.

Merit is currently in the process of contacting anchor institutions such as schools, community colleges, public safety organizations, libraries and other non-profits that will also connect to the network to provide the broadest impact in the areas the proposed fiber will benefit.

Merit Network, recipient of a Round I Broadband Stimulus grant worth $33.3 million that will build 1,017 miles of high-capacity fiber, believes that they are in a favorable position to leverage their expertise and success in a follow-up application.

“We believe that Merit is the right organization to lead a proposal that will ensure the best solution for the State of Michigan,” said President and CEO of Merit Network, Don Welch.

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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