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Merit Network selects Earthcom as Telecommunications Huts Vendor for REACH-3MC II

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Merit Network, Inc. announced today the selection of Earthcom, Inc. as telecommunications huts vendor for the REACH-3MC II broadband stimulus project. Earthcom will install prefabricated telecommunications huts that will house REACH-3MC II optical equipment to power the next-generation network.

“Merit Network is pleased to announce the selection of Earthcom as telecommunications huts vendor for REACH-3MC II,” said Michael Milliken, director of network engineering for Merit.

“Earthcom will help Merit fulfill the REACH-3MC II goal of improved service to underserved communities. The telecommunications huts are essential to providing service to community anchor institutions, homes, businesses and local ISPs in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and Northern Wisconsin. They also protect the network from uncertainty by providing a permanent location for critical networking gear.”

Earthcom will install prefabricated huts in the following communities along the REACH-3MC II fiber route: Crystal Falls, Engadine, Escanaba, Iron Mountain, Ironwood, Manistique (MI), Ashland, Marinette, Poplar (WI).

The huts that Earthcom will install are Precision Quincy XP Series. Precision Quincy will manufacture the huts custom to meet the needs of the REACH-3MC II project.

The equipment to be housed in the telecommunications huts includes, optronics, signal regeneration and colocation gear of both Merit Network and REACH-3MC II commercial sub-recipients’ networks.

Earthcom was selected from a number of qualified applicants who responded to a Request for Proposal (RFP). While there were several strong proposals, Merit’s team thoroughly reviewed all RFPs and determined that Earthcom could deliver the best solution to meet the technical requirements of the REACH-3MC II project.

The Merit evaluation team made their selection based on the following criteria: design, survey and site preparation, materials and installation, experience in Michigan and Wisconsin as well as scalability.

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.

About Earthcom

Earthcom, Inc. is a Lansing, Michigan based corporation with roughly 50 employees. Started in 1999, the company specializes in communication construction including outside plant and wireless applications.

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