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Press Release -- July 22nd, 2014
Source: merit, wiscnet

Merit Network and WiscNet Partner on New Fiber Connection

July 22, 2014 Ann Arbor, Mich. – Merit Network and WiscNet recently lit a new fiber-optic connection between Powers, Michigan; Marinette and Green Bay, Wisconsin; and Chicago, Illinois. The new 10 gigabit-per-second (Gbps) fiber-optic connection replaces two 1 Gbps circuits, providing greater capacity and speed between the Upper Peninsula and Chicago.

“By working together WiscNet and Merit are able to increase services to our communities in Northern Michigan and Wisconsin,” said Bob Stovall, vice president of network engineering and operations for Merit Network. “Both organizations are now positioned to enable our communities to pursue new possibilities and meet their needs now in the future.” 

The connection is a collaborative agreement between Merit and WiscNet, with WiscNet providing the equipment services at Powers, Michigan and Marinette, Wisconsin. Merit is then using The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay’s fiber to travel between Green Bay and Chicago. 

As part of the agreement, Merit will provide fiber service to WiscNet between Powers, Michigan, and Superior, Wisconsin, when that fiber-optic connection is completed. The Powers to Superior fiber connection is part of the REACH-3MC fiber project that Merit is undertaking to build middle-mile infrastructure in Michigan and Wisconsin. 

“Our collaboration with Merit on this, and other projects, is a solid example of WiscNet continuing to grow the advanced network infrastructure that all our members share,” said John Pederson, director of communications for WiscNet. “We will continue to help both our members and community partners, like Merit, connect their own advanced networks.” 

The new connection is a great benefit for Merit Members in the Upper Peninsula, providing high-speed connections to the commodity Internet, to the Internet2 network, and other providers in Chicago. This fiber-optic connection positions Merit to provide unlimited capacity out of the Upper Peninsula and provide a redundant high-speed path for Merit’s backbone network. A third redundant path is being planned out of Superior, WI or Duluth, MN. 

About Merit Network

Merit Network Inc., is a nonprofit corporation owned and governed by Michigan’s public universities, 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 on 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.

For more information:

About WiscNet

WiscNet is an independent 501c3 nonprofit membership cooperative established in 1989 to meet the advanced research and education networking connectivity needs of higher education, technical colleges, K12 schools, libraries, municipalities, and hospitals throughout Wisconsin. WiscNet works in partnership with various regional and national networks as well as the private sector to provide Internet connectivity to over 500 public sector organizations.

For more information:

For press/media contact:

Elwood Downing
Merit Network, Inc.
Phone: (734)527-5702

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