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Merit Network selects Juniper Networks as Ethernet Routing and Switching Hardware Vendor for REACH-3MC

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Merit Network, Inc. announced today the selection of Juniper Networks as Ethernet routing and switching hardware vendor for Merit’s REACH-3MC broadband stimulus project. Juniper will supply routing and switching equipment for both funding rounds.

“Merit Network is pleased to announce the selection of Juniper Networks as Ethernet routing and switching hardware vendor for REACH-3MC,” said Michael Milliken, director of network engineering for Merit.
Juniper Networks
“Merit will use Juniper Networks technology to power the REACH-3MC backbone that will provide both backhaul infrastructure in underserved areas, and redundant paths out of the state that will improve service for the entire region. The equipment will support the knowledge infrastructure upon which Michigan will compete and grow in the 21st century.”

CentraComm, a Value Added Reseller (VAR) based in Findlay, Ohio, has been awarded the REACH-3MC contract and will supply the Juniper hardware.

“Juniper Network’s innovations result in secure, scalable, and transparent networks that provide seamless connectivity and increase operational efficiency,” said Mark Robinson, President of CentraComm. “CentraComm’s legacy of success with Juniper in the education and government sectors will support Merit’s mission to connect Michigan’s universities, K12 schools, libraries, community colleges, health care providers, state and local government, and public safety entities to their high-performance, regional network.”

Juniper 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 Juniper could deliver the best solution to meet the technical requirements of the REACH-3MC project.

“The Juniper product portfolio is best positioned to meet the needs of Merit’s network and our Membership. Additionally it was one of the most cost-effective and flexible solutions that we evaluated,” Milliken added.

“Merit Network is investing in its infrastructure to help keep pace with the service expectations of its members while also preparing for the arrival of even larger bandwidth demands from new social and video applications that are increasingly becoming a part of our daily lives,” said Mike Marcellin, vice president of systems strategy and marketing for the platform system division at Juniper Networks. “Broadband service delivery to underserved areas is an excellent investment in Michigan’s economic growth, and Juniper is thrilled to have been selected for the project.”

The Merit evaluation team made their selection based on the following criteria: flexibility of proposed solution, company profile, understanding scope of work, cost, technical requirements and warranty.

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 Juniper Networks

Juniper Networks is in the business of network innovation. From devices to data centers, from consumers to cloud providers, Juniper Networks delivers the software, silicon and systems that transform the experience and economics of networking. Juniper Networks and Junos are registered trademarks of Juniper Networks, Inc. in the United States and other countries. The Juniper Networks and Junos logos are trademarks of Juniper Networks, Inc. All other trademarks, service marks, registered trademarks, or registered service marks are the property of their respective owners.

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About CentraComm

CentraComm is an industry leading managed IT service provider. Formed in 2001, it leverages its history and experience as an Internet Service Provider (ISP) to provide cutting edge security and networking products and services to its customers. Headquartered in the Midwest, CentraComm serves Fortune 50 to mid-market organizations throughout North America and manages networks around the globe. CentraComm has built its reputation by offering security / routing / switching expertise, experienced engineers, unmatched customer service, best-of-breed products and a deep history of cloud-based services. The company has a strong presence in healthcare, service provider, financial, energy, education and manufacturing industry verticals. CentraComm was recently named the Juniper Networks Partner of the Year for Juniper’s 15 state Central Region.

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