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NMU brings high-speed internet to more of the U.P.

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Educational Access Network/NMU
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High-speed internet access is reaching even more communities in the Upper Peninsula.

Northern Michigan University plans to double the number of communities its Educational Access Network serves over the next few years.

Ten years ago, NMU received a waiver from the Federal Communications Commission to use public broadband airwaves. Before that, some students who lived off campus couldn’t complete their online homework because they didn’t have high-speed internet. 

Eric Smith, the head of broadcast services at NMU, says the university now reaches out to communities that could benefit from faster internet.

"The airwaves belong to the public, much like a public broadcasting signal, so do these internet signals," he says. "And for them to be made accessible to people in a way that helps them with their daily living activities, that all serves the public interest."

Smith says the Wi-Fi service costs anywhere from $20-$35 a month. He says that’s low compared to $50-$200 some companies charge.