Michigan’s MERIT Network: Connectivity To and Through Community Anchors

Merit Backbone Network

Investment in high-performance broadband infrastructure for community anchor institutions can deliver unforeseen dividends for years to come. Take, for example, the Merit Network, which operates almost 4,000 miles of fiber-optic infrastructure in Michigan. To extend critical broadband service to all community anchor institutions in Michigan, including in rural and underserved communities, Merit used two grants from the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) to create the REACH -3MC (Rural, Education, Anchor, Community and Health Care—Michigan Middle Mile Collaborative) project. Completed in 2014, the project constructed 2,287 miles of the almost 4,000-mile, open-access, fiber infrastructure network.