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Merit Network selects CommScope As Fiber-Optic Cable Vendor for REACH-3MC

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Merit Network, Inc. has selected CommScope as fiber-optic cable vendor for Merit’s broadband stimulus project, REACH-3MC. CommScope was selected from a number of qualified suppliers that responded to a Request for Proposal (RFP) Merit issued in late June.
REACH-3MC and ARRA logos
While there were several strong proposals, the Merit team’s thorough review of all RFPs showed that CommScope could deliver the most competitive solution for the fiber-optic cable needs of the REACH-3MC project, which will build 1,017 miles of open-access, advanced fiber-optic network through rural and underserved communities in Michigan’s Lower Peninsula.

“We believe that CommScope will manufacture and deliver a superior fiber-optic cable at a very competitive cost,” said Bob Stovall, vice president of Network Engineering and Operations for Merit Network. “There are a number of factors that we examined to reach this conclusion, from the quality of the fiber-optic cable produced to the delivery methods and cleanup.”

“The REACH-3MC build-out will utilize CommScope’s ability to deliver fiber in as close to just-in-time as possible,” said Pete Miller, Merit’s director of network engineering and operations. “This will give Merit the ability to customize reel size and have the material delivered to where it is needed and exactly when it is needed.”

“The fiber delivery is done via CommScope’s own fleet of delivery vehicles that are equipped with off-loading hoists,” said Robert Duncan, Merit’s director of infrastructure architecture and strategy. “This means Merit will not have the need for shipping and receiving docks or forklifts to accept the delivery of the fiber. It makes things easier and more cost-effective.”

The CommScope RFP response included the recovery and recycling of all spent reels as well, the Merit team said. This is significant considering there is expected to be over 1,000 empty reels when construction is complete.

“CommScope specializes in helping people connect to high-bandwidth data, voice and video applications everywhere,” said Peter Karlsson, senior vice president of Global Enterprise Sales, CommScope. “We are pleased to support Merit in providing advanced broadband access to more residents and communities in Michigan.”

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.

For more information: www.merit.edu

About REACH-3MC

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.

About CommScope

CommScope, Inc. (NYSE: CTV; www.commscope.com ) provides essential infrastructure that makes communication possible. We empower people to connect and communicate seamlessly where, when, and how they choose. Our solutions and services for wired and wireless networks enable high-bandwidth data, video, and voice applications everywhere—at home, at work, and on the go. Through every wave of technology, CommScope helps the world connect and evolve. Backed by numerous respected brands such as Andrew®, SYSTIMAX® and Uniprise®, CommScope supports customers in more than 100 countries around the world through its focus on integrity, ethics, quality and technical innovation.

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