MERDI Receives $250k Grant to Expand Fiber Network in Butte

BUTTE, MT - Montana Resources and Washington Corporation announced a grant of $250,000 to the Montana Economic Revitalization & Development Institute (MERDI). The grant represents a significant part of the funding for the construction, equipment and deployment of a hybrid community fiber optic network which will connect all of the locations of Butte School District No. 1 providing high speed, highly reliable, fault tolerant voice and data transmission.

The network will head-end in the MERDI data center, located in the Thornton Building in uptown Butte, and allow high speed, high capacity diverse path Internet access and data center services. Utilizing the fiber optic network and data center services, School District No. 1 will seek to achieve its goal to fully realize and harness the power of information technology as a transformative agent on K-12 education with over 5000 students.

In addition, MERDI is working with Montana Tech of the University of Montana and Highlands College on joining the Fiber Optic Network to keep the schools globally competitive by utilizing the high speed, high capacity dedicated network.

The project will provide the school district with the tools necessary to meet the federally mandated common core curriculum standards that are required to be implemented by 2015, and move the district to cutting edge educational concepts such as one-to-one computing, personalized learning environments, distance learning and remote collaborative learning activities.

The capacity of the fiber optic network and data is such that the data transmission, Internet access and data center services will also be available to other community government, non-profit and business organizations.


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