Northern Michigan University is trying to expand its next-generation high-speed wireless Internet network to new areas of Marquette County.
Last fall, NMU became one of the first schools in the country to use the WiMax network.
The university has antennae up in Marquette and Negaunee.
Now NMU wants to expand again by getting permission for antennae on 2 more water towers — one at K.I. Sawyer and another in Gwinn.
In exchange for that, NMU director of broadcast & audio-visual services Eric Smith says governments, police and fire agencies can use the service for free.
It’s similar to the arrangements NMU already has with Negaunee and Marquette.
NMU already has the FCC license it would need.
Besides giving Gwinn and Sawyer NMU students and faculty the tools they need to work from home, it could also attract new students
Smith thinks distance learners might be especially interested in WiMax.
NMU is in talks with Marquette County about Sawyer.
This will also be on the agenda for the Forsyth Township Board when it meets at 6:30 tomorrow night.