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County to benefit from fiber-optic connection

St. Joseph County government will benefit from fiber-optic connectivity, following action taken by the county’s board of commissioners Tuesday.

The county’s deal with Ann Arbor-based Merit Network Inc. covers a five-year period and provides service at 20 mega bites per second. The agreement means the county courthouse and courts buildings will connect to Merit’s network and have faster service than it currently has with Comcast.

The county’s working relationship with Comcast will remain in place, however, as the company’s service is essential to telecommunication operations at the sheriff’s department, county administrator Pat Yoder said.

The deal with Merit Network is almost $21,000, and includes a one-time fee of about $11,000. Its relationship with Merit also puts the county in position to establish WiFi service inside its courthouse and courts buildings.