The ConnectME Authority awards competitive grants around the State of Maine for broadband planning initiatives and installations. This round of grants was awarded in April: OTELCO successfully proposed and received funding for two fiber to the premise projects.
Why is fiber to the premise so desirable?
Fiber optic technology uses beams of light to transport data on the internet and can deliver upload and download speeds in excess of 150 Mbps.
The first of the projects to be completed is in the Webb Cove section of Lovell and will serve 50 homes in a remote area where speeds of less than 3 Mbps were the best available. The total cost of the project is $56,000 and the ConnectME grant covers $22,000.
Residents in the area are quite excited about the build-out which began in mid-May, and at the time of this writing, is 90% complete. Approximately 25% of the eligible residents pre-ordered the service and installation to the homes was to begin by the first week of July.
The second OTELCO fiber to the premise project funded by the ConnectMe grant is for a build out in the vicinity of North Raymond and North Shore Roads on the Gray and New Gloucester border. Early preparations are under way, although the project schedule is not completely set yet. This project will serve 36 of the most under-served residents of North Shore Road, and potentially anther 52 along the route of the new fiber on North Raymond Road.
Without the assistance of grant funds, OTELCO is also providing fiber to the premise along a portion of Rte.100 in Gray, serving both businesses and residents along the route. Business owners and residents in the designated service area can contact customer care for pricing and to make arrangement for installation.