Merit June 2023 newsletter
Merit June 2023 newsletter
June is usually a slow month for news, but 2023 is breaking all the rules! Grants are being awarded and the NTIA is preparing to allocate BEAD funding to state broadband offices. Michigan Counties continue along the path of determining their own broadband future, even as early champions are celebrated.
Amidst all these exciting new developments, I want to take a moment to celebrate several decades of work that enable Merit to serve over 80% of Michigan’s counties today. We continue to drive the evolution of middle-mile to provide vitally important, high quality and high-capacity backhaul. Merit Network is already well into the process of a middle-mile optical upgrade that will ensure Michigan’s communities continue to have access to future-proofed technologies via the Digital Autobahn. You can read more about our MOON-Light project below.
Keep on making news, Michigan!
Macomb, Oakland and Wayne Counties Collaborate on Moonshot
Michigan’s three most populous counties have banded together to conduct a broadband survey of the tri-county area. Anyone who lives or works in Macomb, Oakland or Wayne County is encouraged to visit http://www.MichiganMoonshot.org/Tri-County-Broadband to share your opinion about broadband service and barriers to accessing high-speed Internet.
MIHI Makes Initial Grant Recommendations
Michigan’s state broadband office has announced 24 projects recommended to be funded via the Realizing Opportunity with Broadband Infrastructure Networks (ROBIN) Grant Program. The Michigan High-Speed Internet Office (MIHI) has posted applications from 11 Internet service providers that were selected to proceed. Anyone can submit comments or objections to these initial grant recommendations by August 4, 2023.
Berrien County Broadband Champions Featured in Case Study
A respected source of broadband industry research, The Benton Institute for Broadband and Society has published a case study featuring Berrien County. Read Building Broadband Momentum in Berrien County, written by Benton’s Digital Opportunity Fund Fellow and Merit’s Director of Technology Impact Research, Pierrette Dagg.
Federal Middle Mile Grant Awarded to Michigan ISP
Peninsula Fiber Network has been awarded $61,256,705 through the Enabling Middle Mile Broadband Infrastructure Program. The project includes two undersea fiber installations, one between Gulliver and Charlevoix, and another from Chicago to Benton Harbor.
Grant Funded Middle Mile Available Soon
Publicly funded middle mile reduces barriers of distance and geography, enabling local service providers to bring affordable Internet to homes and businesses. Merit is in active performance windows for two federally supported programs. 70 miles of middle-mile fiber optic infrastructure in the Upper Peninsula is being funded by the Economic Development Administration (EDA). Project MOON-Light (Michigan Open Optical Network – Leveraging Innovation to Get High-Speed Technology) is a collaboration between Michigan State University and Merit Network. Funded by a grant from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), MOON-Light will enable more than 100 distributed exchange connectors (see map below) in an open access model.
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