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New Connections Unite Michigan Peninsulas and Open Door to High-Speed Services

ANN ARBOR – In the blink of an eye, packets of information are now zooming across hundreds of miles of fiber networking at gigabit speeds from the Upper Peninsula to the Lower Peninsula thanks to new connections provided by Merit Network.

With a new fiber-optic path that spans the Mackinac Bridge and the upgrade of connections in Traverse City, Petoskey, Houghton, and Marquette, Merit Network is now offering gigabit service to its Members in the northern Lower Peninsula and Upper Peninsula.

In March 2007, Merit Network gained approval from the Mackinac Bridge Authority to use its fiber-optic connection across the bridge. Merit Network engineers began work soon after and brought the network path into operation. In late September, Merit Network completed gigabit circuit connections to Traverse City, Petoskey, Houghton, and Marquette. The new network paths bring faster speeds and greater capacity to those areas, and with the Mackinac Bridge connection, create a redundant path for Merit Network’s backbone network in Northern Michigan.

When completed, the Mackinac Bridge fiber path allowed the two peninsulas to be connected for Merit’s R&E constituency for the first time. Previously, network traffic from the Merit’s Members in the Upper Peninsula had to travel through Wisconsin to reach Members in the Lower Peninsula.

Network service in the Upper Peninsula will again improve soon with a fiber-optic upgrade for the path between Marquette and Sault Ste. Marie.

network map

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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