On Wednesday, January 3, the Merit Network community began utilizing the new fiber connection between the Mt. Pleasant and Lakeview. The additional path creates a 1 Gigabyte connection between Muskegon and Mt. Pleasant and provides strategic benefits to Merit’s Members in mid-Michigan:
- The new connection provides redundant 1 Gigabyte connections for Merit’s Members in Mt. Pleasant, including Central Michigan University.
- Merit’s Members and Affiliate Members in the Muskegon area now have a second 1 Gigabyte path from Muskegon, providing redundancy for Baker College, Muskegon Community College and others.
- The new connection also produces a second path from Mt. Pleasant for Merit customers who are connected at Merit’s POP in Mt. Pleasant, including Affiliate Members in Alpena and those connected via frame-relay.
Merit believes that control of its infrastructure is critical to the future of research and education networks. In many other states, efforts are underway to create statewide or even regional optical networks. Michigan risks falling behind its neighboring states without such an effort. Merit is working to acquire fiber optic cable in many parts of the state. The corridor between Detroit and Chicago in two paths, one through East Lansing in the north and the other through Ann Arbor in the south has been acquired by Merit’s founding institutions: Michigan State University, the University of Michigan, and Wayne State University. Merit is an operational partner with the funding institutions managing and using the fiber paths. Augmenting this, Merit has or is working to acquire and/or build additional fiber in the Upper and Lower peninsulas.