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High-speed internet access in Eastern UP to expand

MARQUETTE, MI— The U.S. Economic Development Administration is awarding $3 million in CARES Act funding to expand internet access in the Eastern U.P.

The Recovery Assistance grant to Merit Network of Ann Arbor will be used to construct a 70-mile fiber optic infrastructure. It will increase access to high-speed internet in Mackinac, Chippewa and Luce counties and support the region’s Leveraging Infrastructure for Transforming the Upper Peninsula—or “LIFT-UP” initiative—which provides middle-mile infrastructure to local internet service providers.

The grant will be matched with $2.3 million in local funds.

It’s expected to create 50 jobs, retain 10 jobs, and generate $5 million in private investment.

Nicole was born near Detroit but has lived in the U.P. most of her life. She graduated from Marquette Senior High School and attended Michigan State and Northern Michigan Universities, graduating from NMU in 1993 with a degree in English.