ROSCOMMON — State and local officials this week will dedicate the latest federal stimulus funded extension of high speed Internet into north-central Lower Michigan on Tuesday.

Scheduled to attend are Donna J. Alward, Director, Houghton Lake Public Library; Rosalie Myers, Executive Coordinator, Roscommon County Economic Development; Craig Cotterman, Supervisor, Denton Township; Sheryl Mase, Director of Statewide Library Services, Library of Michigan; Jack Harris, Director of Service Development and Delivery, State Department of Technology, Management & Budget; Dusty Houser, Regional Representative, Office of U.S. Senator Carl Levin; Kim Frazho, Technology Coordinator and Trainer, Houghton Lake Public Library; and Elwood Downing, Vice President of Member Relations, Communications, Services and Product Development, Merit Network Inc.

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The event will dedicate the fiber-optic infrastructure for the Roscommon County community to commemorate the completion of a significant segment of Merit’s REACH-3MC Broadband Stimulus Project. Houghton Lake Public Library will host key stakeholders who will reflect upon this momentous occasion. Merit Network will announce this milestone for the project and answer questions on how the community can take advantage of this high-speed network.

In 2010, Merit Network, Inc. received two federal stimulus awards for REACH-3MC. The Rural, Education, Anchor, Community and Healthcare – Michigan Middle Mile Collaborative (REACH-3MC) will create 2,287 miles of fiber-optic infrastructure in rural and underserved areas throughout Michigan and provide backhaul to key interconnection points in Wisconsin and Minnesota.

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Through REACH-3MC, Merit will enable state and local government, colleges, schools, libraries, health care facilities and other community anchor institutions to connect to Merit’s private, high-performance network, enabling them to lower costs, consolidate services and provide more to Michigan’s citizens. Merit engages sub-recipients from the private sector to improve service to homes and businesses along the REACH-3MC route. Merit’s existing fiber infrastructure combined with the new REACH-3MC network infrastructure creates a robust footprint in the state, providing Michigan with a strategic asset to leverage in the future.

The event will take place at 11 a.m. at the Houghton Lake Public Library, 4431 W. Houghton Lake Drive, Houghton Lake.

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The event is open to the public. More at