Merit Network, Inc., has selected CommScope as fiber optic cable vendor for Merit’s broadband stimulus project, REACH-3MC. CommScope was selected from a number of qualified suppliers that responded to a request for proposal (RFP) Merit issued in late June. While there were several strong proposals, the Merit team’s thorough review of all RFPs showed that CommScope could deliver the most competitive solution for the fiber optic cable needs of the REACH-3MC project, which will build 1,017 miles of open-access, advanced fiber optic network through rural and underserved communities in Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. “We believe that CommScope will manufacture and deliver a superior fiber optic cable at a very competitive cost,” said Bob Stovall, vice president of network engineering and operations for Merit Network. “There are a number of factors that we examined to reach this conclusion, from the quality of fiber optic cable produced to the delivery methods and cleanup.” “The REACH-3MC build-out will utilize CommScope’s ability to deliver fiber in as close to just-in-time as possible,” said Pete Miller, Merit’s director of network engineering and operations. “This will give Merit the ability to customize reel size and have the material delivered to where it is needed and exactly when it is needed.” “The fiber delivery is done via CommScope’s own fleet of delivery vehicles that are equipped with off-loading hoists,” said Robert Duncan, Merit’s director of infrastructure architecture and strategy. “This means Merit will not have the need for shipping and receiving docks or forklifts to accept the delivery of the fiber. It makes things easier and more cost-effective.” The CommScope RFP response included the recovery and recycling of all spent reels as well, the Merit team said. This is significant considering there is expected to be over 1,000 empty reels when construction is complete.