West Michigan schools, businesses, residents, and health-care facilities will have more broadband internet service options and could see lower bills thanks to a $33.3 million federal grant awarded Jan. 20 to an Ann Arbor-based research and education provider, reports the Grand Rapids Press. Merit Network Inc., a nonprofit owned and governed by 12 public universities in Michigan, is rolling out its Rural, Education, Anchor, Community, and Heath care -- Michigan Middle Mile Collaborative (REACH-3MC) project. The effort is a 955-mile extension of the firm's existing 1,600-mile fiber-optic backbone network. The 32-county project will improve broadband offerings for underserved...

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