Merit: Who, What, and Why

Eric M. Aupperle (Eric M. Aupperle is president, Merit Network, Inc., Ann Arbor, Michigan.)

Library Hi Tech

ISSN: 0737-8831

Publication date: 1 April 1998


This article looks back at the innovations and ingenuity, trials and tribulations that went into the marketing of Merit Network, Inc., Michigan’s pioneering Internet provider. Merit was one of the first organizations in the nation to attempt what was then a daunting task: to link the computing facilities of three universities by a common network. Initially formed in 1966 to provide services to its then‐three member institutions–Michigan State University, the University of Michigan, and Wayne State University (Detroit)–Merit subsequently became a major service provider and manager of “the Internet.” Today, Merit is serving as the GigaPoP organization for its two current Internet2 members, Michigan State University and the University of Michigan, and will provision a vBNS connection for Wayne State University. The more things change, the more Merit’s role remains strategically focused.



Aupperle, E. (1998), "Merit: Who, What, and Why", Library Hi Tech, Vol. 16 No. 1, pp. 15-36.

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Copyright © 1998, MCB UP Limited

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