MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - With the FCC’s vote to undo net neutrality rules, many people are concerned about how this will affect their internet access moving forward.
Northern Michigan University has been reassured that nothing will change. MERIT, the Michigan Education Research Information Triad, provides NMU and a number of other educational organizations with internet. MERIT will continue to operate their network in an open and transparent manner, without blocking websites, slowing down service or degrading traffic.
"For us as an educational institution, we've been assured by our provider who we partner with, and it's a fabulous partnership, we've been assured that there's really no changes. And then when it comes to the EAN, we provide that service to others so we can assure them there's no changes," says Derek Hall, Assistant Vice President of Marketing and Communication at NMU.
With this continued transparency, NMU will then be able to do the same for its customers through their Educational Access Network, or EAN. The EAN is an educational internet service that isn’t as fast as the big providers but is offered at a lower cost. For around $20, those linked to the university - students, alumni, veterans - can use the internet service if you are within range of one of their many towers around the Upper Peninsula. If you don't have a tie with the university, you can take an online class or module to gain that access.
NMU is expanding the EAN across the U.P. to provide more service to rural areas. They expect to have about 90 towers when the two-year project is complete.