History Of GWI
1994 – The History of GWI begins. Originally, GWI was known as Biddeford Internet Corporation. The company’s goal was to serve the greater Biddeford, Maine area as a local Internet Service Provider.
1995 – Within one year, Biddeford Internet Corporation expands to serve 70 percent of Maine population with dial-up Internet access.
1996 – Biddeford Internet Corporation became one of the first ISPs in the country to provide comprehensive Internet services to support high-speed on-line access services to the cable industry when it began its partnerships with Casco Cable and New England Cable Vision. In addition to providing technical support to the cable industry, Biddeford Internet Corporation began offering wholesale DNS, domain name hosting, customer service and technical support direct to its cable customers. At the same time, Biddeford Internet Corporation expanded its suite of on-line connectivity options for its direct on-line customers to include advanced DS1, T-1, and ISDN access methods.
1997 – Completing statewide network access in Maine, the company changed its name to reflect this important achievement. The new name, GWI (Great Works Internet) was selected to honor the Great Works River, since it touches both Maine and New Hampshire, the primary target market areas GWI serves. GWI upgrades all of its facilities for digital on-line access to residents throughout Maine and parts of New Hampshire.
1998 – GWI announces free or low-cost websites to charitable and other select non-profit organizations in Maine. Over 250 organizations benefited from GWI’s donation program.
1999 – GWI tops 10,000 on-line customers served, and over 1,100 domains hosted, elevating the Company to the top 10% of domain hosts worldwide.
2000 – GWI becomes a safe haven for thousands of disaffected on-line users, and increases its customer base by 50 percent. Debt-free, GWI opens its doors to on-line customers stranded by the collapse of dozens of over-leveraged ISPs that went out of business during the Internet bubble burst.
2001 – GWI launches a statewide company and product branding advertising campaign, becoming the most recognized ISP in Maine according to the Maine Consumer Survey. GWI tests telephone based ADSL high-speed on-line services in Maine and provides the convenience of single number, toll-free statewide dial-up access. Full-time employees exceed 50 at the Maine headquarters.
2002 – GWI Broadband service is formally launched in six southern Maine markets and within one year expands to 50 urban and rural communities in Maine, and seacoast customers in the Portsmouth, New Hampshire area. GWI becomes capable of serving 50 percent (250,000) homes and business with high-speed Internet access.
2003 – For the first of what would bemany occasions in the history of GWI, the company was honored by INC Magazine as one of the 500 fastest growing companies in the United States. GWI also applied for and and received co-location rights in 11 additional New Hampshire telephone company central offices, with plans to expand GWI Broadband to over 300,000 additional homes and businesses. Full-time employees exceed 100 at the Maine headquarters.
2004 – GWI celebrates 10 years in business, becoming Northern New England’s largest and most tenured Internet Service Provider with over 60,000 on-line end-users served. For the second year in a row, GWI is honored by INC Magazine as one of the 500 fastest growing companies in the United States.
2005 – GWI launches GWI residential phone service, which combines the power of high-speed Internet access with unlimited local and long-distance telephone service — all delivered on a single line and a single bill.
2006 – GWI is committed to better control and more choices for the public by offering multiple phone and Internet plans for residential use as well as offering business telephone solutions.
2007 – GWI launches commercial phone service offerings.
2008 – GWI Creates a Business Services division specializing in serving the voice and data needs of Maine businesses.
2009 – GWI leads the effort to bring $32 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding to Maine to build the Three Ring Binder, an 1100 mile fiber optic network that will bring high capacity Broadband access to rural Maine.
2010 – GWI turns over the federal funding for the Three Ring Binder to Maine Fiber Company, which will construct and manage the dark fiber network as an independent entity.
2010 – GWI enters the cloud computing business with Hosted PBX, Hosted File Share, Hosted Backup & Recovery and Hosted Messaging. For the fourth time in the history of GWI, the company is recognized by Inc.com as one of the nation’s 5000 fastest growing private companies.
2011 – GWI CEO Fletcher Kittredge is recognized by MaineBiz as its 2011 large company Business Leader of the Year, citing GWI’s sustained growth over time and Fletcher’s leadership in bringing the Three Ring Binder to Maine.