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Mackinac Bridge Part Of Broadband Expansion Plan

SAINT IGNACE. (AP) - The Mackinac Bridge connecting Michigan's Upper and Lower peninsulas will be a key part of a plan to expand Internet service in the state.

Gov. Rick Snyder on Tuesday announced a deal between the nonprofit Merit Network Inc. and the Mackinac Bridge Authority. It allows Merit Network to purchase strands of cable crossing the 5-mile-long Mackinac Bridge for use in a fiber-optic broadband project called REACH-3MC.

The project is part of an effort to expand broadband access in Michigan. Synder says it will help "serve job creators and the Upper Peninsula."

The first phase of the REACH-3MC project includes building nearly 2,300 miles of fiber-optic infrastructure in rural and underserved communities in Michigan.

The Ann Arbor-based Merit Network is governed by Michigan's public universities.

© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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