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Merit Network Announces REACH-3MC Webcast Update

Ann Arbor-based Merit Network Inc. is offering an update on its REACH-3MC Internet access project for rural Michigan on the Web Wednesday, Jan. 19 at 2:30 p.m. Eastern time.

Merit has brought over $100 million in federal broadband investment to Michigan. During 2010, Merit received two grants from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration through the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program program, part of the federal stimulus.

Over the next three years, Merit will use the funds to build a 2,300-mile fiber-optic backbone network across unserved and underserved areas in the Lower and Upper Peninsulas of Michigan and inter-connect with other networks in Wisconsin and Minnesota. Merit and eight commercial organizations will use the fiber-optic backbone to help improve broadband in these rural and remote communities.

The Webcast will provide a comprehensive update on Merit’s progress on the REACH-3MC project, including information about project RFPs, community outreach, engineering and environmental assessments, and upcoming construction work. The audience will be able to submit questions by e-mail during the Webcast, which will be answered live.

To watch the webcast, please register at:

Merit Network Inc. is a nonprofit corporation owned and governed by Michigan’s public universities that owns and operates America’s longest-running regional research and education network. It was created in 1966 to link the mainframe computers of Michigan State University, the University of Michigan and Wayne State University, and eventually became Michigan’s first Internet service provider. Today, it provides high-performance networking to Michigan’s public universities, colleges, K-12 organizations, libraries, state government, healthcare, and other non-profit organizations.

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