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REACH-3MC General Project Update Archive

Merit-orious Beginning

Article reprinted from www.yourdailyglobe.com

IRONWOOD TOWNSHIP- Merit Network Inc. and community partners in Gogebic County commemorated the completion and lighting of the fiber optic network's segment between Watersmeet and Ironwood on Tuesday.

In 2010, Merit received two federal stimulus awards for the Rural, Education, Anchor, Community and Health Care-Michigan Middle Mile Collaborative to create more than 2,200 miles of open access advanced fiber optic infrastructure in rural and underserved areas in Michigan. This has been accomplished in three years, Elwood Downing, vice president of member relations, communications, services and product development for Merit, said. The Gogebic County segment will provide access to key connection points in Wisconsin and Minnesota.

Downing said $100 million federal and $30 million private investment have been put into the project. "The public/private partnership of this project is the most compelling aspect, and was the most compelling aspect to the federal government as well."

The project was recognized by the White House in 2012 as a "Champion of Change," and 2013 Computer World Foundation "Computer World Honors Laureate."

"It's a tremendous success, and it would not have been possible without many people and organizations," Downing said. The project will serve homes, businesses and community anchor institutions.

Merit has long had a vision of equal informational access for all, regardless of geography," Downing said.

One hundred and thirty-three community anchor institutions are involved, and 53 additional institutions will be connected.

Gogebic Community College President James Lorenson called REACH-3MC "a truly momentous project. We're very pleased and honored to be part of the project."

Walt Lessun, GCC librarian, said the college is just beginning to imagine what collaborations can be created, and the positive effects for students will include faster access to proprietary databases and cooperative interaction with classmates and others around the world.

Tom Ruppe, network support analyst for Gogebic Community Mental Health, said REACH-3MC has enabled GCMH to provide telepsychiatry for its consumers, who previously had to wait five to six weeks to see a psychiatrist on location. Consumers have also been able to videoconference with relatives down state. Staff at GCMH will save travel dollars by attending meetings via video, and GCMH will have lower cost, reliable, high speed access to critical applications, Ruppe said, including medical records stored down state, financial applications in Marquette, and regional applications.

"It used to take me three days to complete Windows updates," Ruppe said. "Now I can do it in an hour."

Juliane Giackino, Gogebic County Administrator, said staff at the courthouse run 60 types of software applications, with eight servers, and 100 work stations; so the increased bandwidth will be beneficial. Giackino also said travel costs will be lower for the county, with defendants from the lower peninsula now able to appear in court by video, and Gogebic County board members able to utilize the same technology for meetings.

Law enforcement also uses cloud-based data storage, Giackino said. "It wasn't an easy decision to migrate to Merit, but the bandwidth, cost and reliability are worth it."

"Imagine a world with no boundaries and no barriers," Ironwood Carnegie Library Director Elaine Erickson said, "with data at the speed of light. That world is now, thanks to Merit."

"Merit has given us the tools to ensure 21st century service for our patrons," Erickson said. "I felt as if I had won the lottery when I found out the library would be a hub for the project. ... It is limitless now what we can provide our residents."

Amy Berglund, Upper Peninsula regional representative for the office of U.S. Sen. Carl Levin, said Levin was a huge proponent of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, from which the federal funding for the project came. "It's really terrific to hear the examples of how this technology is impacting this community."

"It's only going to get better," Berglund said. "Sen. Levin will be so happy to hear what it's doing here and how this investment is really working."

Thom Hadfield, U.S. Rep. Dan Benishek's office staffer, said, "I specialize in technology issues, and get the daily calls from people in rural areas that don't have access to high speed internet. We are much closer to providing the last mile to businesses and homes." Hadfield presented Downing a certificate of appreciation from Benishek's office.

Last Modified: November 20, 2013 12:40 pm





Progress Report Archive for REACH-3MC ARRA Project

The following is an archive of progress report messages that were posted on the REACH-3MC Web Page. Click a title listed below to view a progress report. To view progress reports from a different REACH-3MC section, use the "Select a Different Archive" menu.

REACH-3MC General Project Update Archive
Update Title Area Update Last Modified
Merit Extends the Reach of its Network by 2,300 Miles Using CommScope Fiber Solutions

REACH-3MC Project Update August 07, 2014 10:46 am

Broadband Stimulus Project completed in Menominee

REACH-3MC Project Update August 07, 2014 10:46 am

Merit-orious Beginning

REACH-3MC Project Update November 20, 2013 12:40 pm

Two Great Events Celebrating REACH-3MC in the Western Upper Peninsula

REACH-3MC Project Update November 15, 2013 2:49 pm

Merit Completes 10 Gigabit Connection from Alpena to Powers, Michigan

REACH-3MC Project Update November 15, 2013 2:49 pm

Bringing Broadband to Schools in Rural Michigan

REACH-3MC Project Update August 28, 2013 3:00 pm

Merit Announces Completed Milestones for the REACH-3MC Round II Project

REACH-3MC Project Update July 31, 2013 12:15 pm

Merit Lights REACH-3MC II Network from Grand Rapids to Big Rapids, Rose City to Oscoda, Hillman to Posen

REACH-3MC Project Update July 08, 2013 9:46 am

Merit Lights REACH-3MC II Network from Cadillac to Mio, Gaylord to Mackinaw City, Grayling to Kalkaska

REACH-3MC Project Update June 03, 2013 8:36 am

Merit hosts REACH-3MC Press Event in Mackinaw City and St. Ignace

REACH-3MC Project Update May 23, 2013 8:32 am

Merit Completes Round 1 REACH-3MC Construction

REACH-3MC Project Update April 08, 2013 3:35 pm

Bayliss Public Library Boasts New Fiber-Optic Connection

REACH-3MC Project Update March 27, 2013 1:55 pm

Merit Announces REACH-3MC Webcast Update on March 27, 2013

REACH-3MC Project Update March 15, 2013 4:17 pm

Merit Network & Berrien Springs Area Celebrate Completion of REACH-3MC Network Segments

REACH-3MC Project Update February 25, 2013 4:38 pm

REACH-3MC Press Event in Houghton Lake on Feb. 12, 2013

REACH-3MC Project Update May 23, 2013 9:14 am

Merit Network & Hillsdale Area Celebrate Completion of REACH-3MC Network Segment

REACH-3MC Project Update February 05, 2013 12:47 pm

Merit Network, City of Charlevoix and Charlevoix Public Schools Partner to Improve Broadband

REACH-3MC Project Update January 29, 2013 8:35 am

Merit Network Lights REACH-3MC Network from Monroe to Traverse City

REACH-3MC Project Update January 10, 2013 9:46 am

Merit Network Announces NTIA Support for REACH-3MC Round I Project

REACH-3MC Project Update January 03, 2013 12:15 pm

Merit Network Announces Completed Milestones for the REACH-3MC Round I Project

REACH-3MC Project Update January 09, 2013 8:44 am

Merit Network Lights Several Segments of the REACH-3MC Fiber-Optic Network

REACH-3MC Project Update January 09, 2013 8:44 am

Merit Network Lights REACH-3MC Network from Muskegon to Hart

REACH-3MC Project Update December 18, 2012 8:10 am

Merit Network Lights REACH-3MC Network from Berrien Springs to Muskegon

REACH-3MC Project Update December 17, 2012 2:34 pm

Merit Network, Inc. celebrates REACH-3MC Fiber-optic Infrastructure Dedication for Monroe County

REACH-3MC Project Update July 26, 2012 11:40 am

Merit Network, Inc. announces Fiber-optic Infrastructure Dedication for REACH-3MC Broadband Project in Monroe County

REACH-3MC Project Update July 19, 2012 12:22 pm

Merit Network Connects University of Michigan Biological Station through REACH-3MC

REACH-3MC Project Update July 11, 2012 11:04 am

Merit Connects First REACH-3MC Community Anchor: Forest Park Schools

REACH-3MC Project Update April 23, 2012 2:47 pm

Merit Network selects Capital Communications for REACH-3MC II Consulting & Construction of Central Office Entrance Facilities

REACH-3MC Project Update March 15, 2012 10:07 am

Gov. Snyder announces MBA to partner with Merit Network to expand Internet service in Michigan

REACH-3MC Project Update March 14, 2012 8:27 am

Archived REACH-3MC Update Webcast

REACH-3MC Project Update March 01, 2012 4:28 pm

New Look -- REACH-3MC Project Web Site

REACH-3MC Project Update March 01, 2012 9:01 am

Merit Network Announces REACH-3MC Webcast Update

REACH-3MC Project Update March 01, 2012 9:01 am

White House Highlights Donald J. Welch as an Innovator in Infrastructure and "Champion of Change"

REACH-3MC Project Update March 01, 2012 9:01 am

Merit Network Begins Fiber Construction on REACH-3MC II in the Upper Peninsula

REACH-3MC Project Update February 01, 2012 10:32 am

Merit Network Begins Deployment of REACH-3MC Optical Equipment

REACH-3MC Project Update February 01, 2012 10:32 am

Merit Network Announces Fiber-Optic Construction Vendors for REACH-3MC II

REACH-3MC Project Update November 17, 2011 5:11 pm

Merit Network and Enventis Sign Agreement to Share BTOP Broadband Build in Minnesota and Wisconsin

REACH-3MC Project Update November 17, 2011 5:12 pm

Merit Network Begins REACH-3MC Construction from Petersburg to Blissfield

REACH-3MC Project Update October 31, 2011 8:54 am

Video of Governor Snyder's Address

REACH-3MC Project Update October 28, 2011 10:01 am

Governor Snyder's Special Announcement on Infrastructure features REACH-3MC

REACH-3MC Project Update October 27, 2011 1:49 pm

Merit Network and Bloomingdale Communications Collaborate on BTOP-funded Network in Southwest Michigan

REACH-3MC Project Update October 27, 2011 1:49 pm

REACH-3MC II Telecommunications Huts RFP Released

REACH-3MC Project Update October 27, 2011 1:49 pm

New RFP for REACH-3MC II Released

REACH-3MC Project Update October 27, 2011 1:49 pm

Merit Network Announces REACH-3MC Webcast Update

REACH-3MC Project Update October 27, 2011 1:49 pm

Significant Milestone Achieved for Merit's REACH-3MC II Project

REACH-3MC Project Update October 27, 2011 1:49 pm

Construction Photos

REACH-3MC Project Update July 20, 2011 2:34 pm

Stimulus project to add jobs, fiber-optic

REACH-3MC Project Update June 29, 2011 2:23 pm

Merit Network Announces Fiber-Optic Construction Vendors for REACH-3MC

REACH-3MC Project Update June 29, 2011 2:23 pm

Merit Network Expands Its Presence in the Upper Peninsula in Preparation for the REACH-3MC Fiber Build

REACH-3MC Project Update June 23, 2011 12:29 pm

Construction Update

REACH-3MC Project Update June 23, 2011 12:29 pm

Merit Network Selects CCI Systems as Outside Plant Engineering Contractor for REACH-3MC II in Upper Peninsula, Wisconsin and Minnesota

REACH-3MC Project Update June 10, 2011 2:24 pm

Merit Network Begins Underground Fiber Construction on REACH-3MC Segment from Petoskey to Mackinaw City

REACH-3MC Project Update April 06, 2011 1:45 pm

Merit Network Begins Underground Fiber Construction on REACH-3MC Segment from Petoskey to Mackinaw City

REACH-3MC Project Update April 06, 2011 1:42 pm

Archived Webcast Added

REACH-3MC Project Update March 04, 2011 11:24 am

Jan. 19 REACH-3MC Webcast Archive Available

REACH-3MC Project Update January 20, 2011 12:50 pm

Groundbreaking for REACH-3MC Project on Dec. 21

REACH-3MC Project Update December 22, 2010 12:29 pm

Archived REACH-3MC Update Webcast Available

REACH-3MC Project Update September 22, 2010 3:52 pm

REACH-3MC Photo Archive

REACH-3MC Project Update August 26, 2010 11:18 am

Broadband Stimulus Grants Announcement Archive

REACH-3MC Project Update August 25, 2010 9:35 am

REACH-3MC Community Meetings

REACH-3MC Project Update July 21, 2010 4:51 pm

Merit Network featured presenter at NTIA BTOP Best Practices Workshop

REACH-3MC Project Update June 28, 2010 3:59 pm

2010-April-13 -- Boyne City

REACH-3MC Project Update October 25, 2010 3:15 pm

2010-April-22

REACH-3MC Project Update June 12, 2013 3:56 pm

REACH-3MC Update Webcast Archive

REACH-3MC Project Update April 06, 2010 3:22 pm

2010-February-23

REACH-3MC Project Update April 06, 2010 3:22 pm

State Strategic Partnerships for Federal Funding Meetings

REACH-3MC Project Update February 26, 2010 8:27 am

REACH-3MC Project RSS Feed Available

REACH-3MC Project Update February 08, 2010 12:09 pm






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