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Mike Richardson of REMC#1 Highlighted as an Internet2 K20 Initiative Innovator

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Merit Network is pleased to congratulate Mike Richardson of REMC#1 (Regional Education Media Center #1) for being recognized as an Internet2 K20 Initiative Innovator.

Internet2’s Anchor Innovators Program highlights individuals from within the Internet2 K20 Initiative community who have exhibited excellence in technology support of community anchor institutions such as K-12 schools, libraries, community colleges, museums, science centers, and other cultural organizations.
REMC#1 directly services the schools of Copper Country Intermediate School District (ISD) and Gogebic-Ontonagon ISD in Michigan’s Western Upper Peninsula. The centralized technology services they provide include: networking, Internet access, security, compliance, reporting, and many others.

Through a partnership with Merit Network, REMC#1 is able to deliver services to the schools of Marquette-Alger ISD and most recently schools in Dickinson-Iron ISD. As Merit completes its REACH-3MC network build-out in these regions, REMC#1 will be able to increase the number of schools they service in these ISDs and enhance their service offerings.

Richardson believes that Internet2 was impressed with REMC#1’s ability to leverage investments in hardware and share fiber assets across multiple Intermediate School Districts. Because of the collaboration REMC#1 and Merit have helped to facilitate, advanced technologies are able to reach far more students in the Western UP and at a lower cost.

Richardson, who has been with REMC#1 for 16 years, describes his role as Director:

“I help our local schools collaborate more effectively, and enable them to acquire better quality technology through economies of scale, at less cost. My team works with our teachers and staff to better implement and utilize educational technology to support teaching and learning.”

Jason Russell, director of Member Relations at Merit Network, explains why he believes Mike’s recognition is well deserved:

“The work that Mike has done to bring the school districts together in the Upper Peninsula is a true example of collaboration. By sharing services and working together, Mike has enabled schools in remote areas of the state to leverage economies of scale and manage their IT investments more efficiently.”

A recent breakthrough Richardson describes is REMC#1’s bandwidth pool implementation. Utilizing equipment from Procera, REMC#1 has been able to aggregate bandwidth “pools” on a per individual school district and per ISD basis. This has enabled successful prioritization and efficiency of network utilization from an operations standpoint.

REMC#1 has been Merit Member since 1996. Mike Richardson has long been an active Member in the Merit Community, serving on the Merit Advisory Council for many years. Merit is very pleased to pass along this great news on to our Membership.

For more information about REMC#1: