Project Grant


Grant Description
Purpose: The Infrastructure for Michigan's Peninsulas and Critical Crossings (IMPACC) includes two routes crossing Michigan's lakes and unserved counties and towns to bring middle mile infrastructure into rural counties, serving over 35,000 homes in need of broadband internet connectivity. The project aims to place approximately 535 route miles of new middle mile fiber, connecting the Upper Peninsula of Michigan to the Lower Peninsula with a redundant path to create connectivity options for western Michigan to peering points in Chicago. The goal is to improve connectivity and redundancy for unserved and underserved areas of the UP and western Michigan.

Route #1: The undersea fiber connection across Lake Michigan to Chicago from Benton Harbor and St. Joseph, MI, creates a shorter, redundant, and more reliable middle mile route to Chicago. It extends through underserved areas of southwest rural Michigan to an Inter-Exchange Carrier (IXC) facility in Byron Center, MI.

Route #2 begins in Gulliver in the Upper Peninsula, travels undersea and makes landfall at Beaver Island, then continues undersea to Charlevoix, MI. After landfall in Charlevoix, the route continues south and east through sections of unserved towns to reach an IXC point in Gaylord.

Activities to be performed: The project will place 535 route miles of new middle mile fiber that will integrate into existing networks to provide middle mile access and ultimately serve end users throughout the state of Michigan. The project will use fiber to build a new middle mile network through unserved and underserved communities with a commitment to open access and carrier-neutral non-discriminatory interconnect. The period of performance is expected to be 5 years.

Expected outcomes: The Peninsula Fiber Networks Middle Mile Project will provide low latency, high-capacity middle mile connectivity in unserved and underserved areas in Michigan. It aims to create competitive middle mile routes that potentially lower costs to end users and provide opportunities in educational, health, and workforce development. The IMPACC project will advance the broadband priorities of the Michigan Broadband Roadmap by expanding middle mile infrastructure to reduce the cost of connecting unserved and underserved areas and promote broadband connection resiliency through alternate network connections designed to prevent single points of failure.

Intended beneficiaries: Peninsula Fiber Network has identified terrestrial and wireless last mile providers interested in interconnecting with the proposed middle mile infrastructure. These providers have expertise in broadband deployment and operate in rural, suburban, and metro regions in Michigan. They will leverage the new infrastructure to offer enhanced broadband services to 35,000+ end-users. A recent broadband study in Berrien County by Merit, Inc. showed that 64% of townships in southwest Michigan do not have access to 25/3 Mbps broadband. Along the southwest Michigan route, last mile providers have committed to utilizing this middle mile infrastructure to provide end-user service throughout the region. Nearly 5,000 unserved and underserved locations will have access to 1 Gbps speeds. Beaver Island in Charlevoix County is the largest island in Lake Michigan with 600 year-round residents. Once deployed, the middle mile infrastructure will be available to enable telemedicine, remote learning, and general connectivity to this remote location. In Lapeer, Macomb, St. Clair, and Genesee counties, which have urban centers where sufficient broadband coverage exists, the additional middle mile capacity will provide opportunities for a competitive middle mile networking aimed at lessening ISP costs and lowering subscription rates for end users.

Sub-recipients: 123.NET, Inc. has been identified as a sub-recipient for this grant and will provide design, engineering, installation, and management for some middle mile routes proposed in PFN's project. 123.NET is also a last mile service provider bringing FTTH in eight southwest MI counties.
Place of Performance
Marquette, Michigan 49855-2485 United States
Geographic Scope
Single Zip Code
Related Opportunity
Peninsula Fiber Network was awarded Project Grant 2640MM196 worth $61,256,706 from the National Institute of Standards and Technology in July 2023. The grant has a duration of 5 years and was awarded through assistance program 11.033 Middle Mile (Broadband) Grant Program. $26,252,874 (30.0%) of this Project Grant was funded by non-federal sources.


Last Modified 6/21/23

Period of Performance
Start Date
End Date
5.0% Complete

Funding Split
Federal Obligation
Non-Federal Obligation
Total Obligated
70.0% Federal Funding
30.0% Non-Federal Funding

Activity Timeline

Additional Detail

SAI Number
Award ID URI
Awardee Classifications
For-Profit Organization (Other Than Small Business)
Awarding Office
Funding Office
Performance District
Debbie Stabenow
Gary Peters
Jack Bergman
Modified: 6/21/23