Susan Crawford at the Rockport, Maine next-generation broadband network launch.

Posted on July 22, 2015 by GWI

By Christoper Mitchell and Hannah Trostle Like many states, Maine is at a crossroads. Decisions made now around rural Internet access will impact the state for decades, just as smart decisions to electrify farms and rural regions dramatically improved quality of life, the economy, and transformed society. The question for Maine is whether it will embrace the technology of yesterday – cable, DSL, and many forms of wireless that are insufficiently reliable and have too …
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Posted on July 2, 2015 by Trevor Jones

Today, there is a robust dialogue at the state and national level about improving the quality of the broadband network so that we can remain competitive in the digital economy, but it wasn’t always so. Many, including the author of this article from MIT Technology Review, point to the first Google Fiber deployment in Kansas City in 2012 as an important catalyst.  Before Google Fiber, Verizon had stopped deployment of its FiOS fiber-to-the-home service to …
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Posted on June 26, 2015 by Trevor Jones

As Mainers debate the best approaches to improving broadband access in communities throughout our state, we should take heart in the knowledge that we have an extensive open-access middle-mile fiber network to build on. While there are networks similar to the Three Ring Binder out there, many states are still woefully behind us in building middle mile fiber and ensuring open access to that fiber for all providers. In those states, ISP’s interested in building …
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Posted on June 19, 2015 by Trevor Jones

It can be hard to hear the truth, but here it is:  When it comes to the problems with Maine Broadband, there are no magic bullets.  No wireless, cable, or phone provider is going to ride in on a white horse and chase away the “bad guys” that jeer Maine for how bad our broadband is.  Instead, we have a long, hard road ahead of us to replace closed, monopolized, antiquated copper networks with open, competitive, …
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Posted on June 10, 2015 by GWI

By Pat Welch, IT Support Technician Every once in a while, each of us experiences what seems to be a slow connection at home or at work.  Perhaps a movie is not streaming properly or a download is taking longer than we expect.  The question is, is the problem with the Internet connection, with our computer, or with the remote web server that is delivering the content to us.  In these cases, we can use …
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Posted on June 3, 2015 by Trevor Jones

There has never been more energy around better broadband in Maine than in 2015.  South Portland recently announced that its municipal network was coming online, Islesboro voted to spend $200,000 designing and planning for a municipal broadband network, and in the Maine Legislature, a handful of important bills have passed out of committee and will be coming to the House and Senate floors for debate.  Two of these bills, in particular, are important to accelerating …
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Posted on May 21, 2015 by Trevor Jones

Maine has a broadband problem.  It’s been discussed broadly in the local and national media, in events and conferences, and in the Maine State House in Augusta.  Multiple studies have shown that our broadband speeds are at or near the bottom of the pack among states, and are far slower than what is available in many third world countries. This deficiency is alarming given the steadily increasing importance of the Internet for our economy. Given …
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Posted on May 14, 2015 by Trevor Jones

By now, we all understand that businesses need high speed Internet access to thrive in today’s economy.  Businesses communicate with their customers online, use cloud computing to keep their books and maintain customer data, and buy and sell goods over the Internet.   The Internet and commerce have become so intertwined that 34% of new commercial jobs created are directly attributable to broadband Internet access. All this makes sense to us, but did you know that …
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Posted on April 16, 2015 by GWI

There is good news for consumers frustrated with the high cost of cable and satellite TV services; in recent months, the list of options for streaming popular programming has grown longer and streaming TV keeps getting easier. For cord-cutters with reliable broadband, it’s welcome news that new and affordable options for streaming TV continue to become available. Since most consumers blend TV and movies from a variety of providers, we’ve compiled a list of the …
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Posted on April 10, 2015 by Fletcher Kittredge

All across the nation, telecommunications companies make decisions about whether or not to ensure the reliability of Internet access in communities based solely on their own profits.  We shouldn’t fault them for this.  As for-profit enterprises, their first responsibility is to their shareholders; they are obligated to make decisions about the use of capital based upon which investments will yield the biggest return for shareholders. The question is, can our society afford to have decisions …
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Posted on April 2, 2015 by Fletcher Kittredge

Today, GWI CEO Fletcher Kittredge testified before the Utilities and Technology Committee on LD 826, a bill before the Maine Legislature that would increase funding for the ConnectME Authority from $1,000,000 per year to $5,000,000 per year and keep investment focused on areas that have no connectivity today.  Kittredge testified both for and against the legislation. The following is his written testimony:   Chairman Woodsome, Chairman Dion and members of the Energy, Utilities and Technology Committee, my name …
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Posted on March 27, 2015 by Trevor Jones

We’re all familiar with zombies, the undead corpses from post-apocalyptic fiction, video games and Halloween parties. You know they can turn their victims into zombies as well, but did you know that we may have had a digital “zombie apocalypse” in Maine in the past week? Recently, Maine’s state website, Maine.Gov, suffered extreme slowdowns due to a Distributed Denial of Service (“DDoS”) attack. DDoS attacks generally involve flooding a single device, such as a server …
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Posted on March 20, 2015 by Fletcher Kittredge

I’m often asked “Which are better, wireless or wired Internet connections?” From a technical perspective, the question doesn’t make much sense. They are complementary, not competitive. As transmission media, fiber and wireless both have unique advantages and disadvantages. In building an Internet network, a design that takes advantage of the strengths and minimizes the weaknesses of both results in the best system. The fundamental insight that made the Internet is “transmission protocols should be media …
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Posted on March 12, 2015 by Trevor Jones

Economic development is foremost among the reasons communities decide to build broadband networks. This immediately puts communities on different footing from the phone and cable companies when considering broadband projects. Job creation, not profits, are the primary reason communities all across the country are interested in building next generation broadband networks in rural areas where the economics aren’t appealing for commercial projects. It makes sense that communities would begin to look at broadband networks as …
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Posted on March 5, 2015 by GWI

GWI was proud to work with the Town of Rockport, Maine Media Workshops + College and Maine Research and Education Network (part of the UMaine System) to bring ultra-fast fiber optic Internet infrastructure to the Rockport village area. The “High Tech Harbor” project launched in August 2014 and delivers internet up to 100 times faster than a regular broadband connection to homes and businesses nearby. Six months have passed since the community fiber project was completed …
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Posted on February 27, 2015 by Trevor Jones

Yesterday, the FCC announced a ruling in favor of community broadband networks in Chattanooga, Tennessee and Wilson, North Carolina that will have sweeping implications for community broadband networks nationwide.  Each of these communities had been restricted from expanding their community owned broadband networks by restrictive state laws inhibiting community investment.  Such laws currently exist in over 20 states, and while no such law is currently in place in Maine, Maine’s dominant cable company is actively …
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Posted on February 26, 2015 by GWI

  How much email do we send and receive daily? About 183 billion worldwide, if not more, according to an Email Statistics Report. Business email traffic dominates with 100 billion emails sent and received daily, while consumer email accounts are slowly being replaced by social networking communication. It’s hard to remember life before email and the youngest generation of online users has never known life without online communication. So where do the rules of email …
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Posted on February 19, 2015 by Trevor Jones

In the past few weeks, both Maine and the Federal Government have redefined their definitions of Broadband.  Maine’s new definition of 10 megabits per second download by 10 megabits per second upload differs from the federal definition, which is now 25 megabits down by 3 megabits up.  Whereas in the past we’d taken the position that a different definition of broadband hurts Maine, in this case we believe Maine’s proposed definition offers compelling advantages as …
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Posted on February 14, 2015 by Trevor Jones

Over the last year, Maine’s been buzzing about the need for better broadband.  The conversation started with Craig Anderson’s article last January that noted how Ookla had ranked Maine near the bottom of the pack among states in broadband speed.  Just over a year later, there is a robust dialogue in Augusta, a new state definition of broadband, and as many as 35 proposed bills to expand broadband service under discussion at the legislature. We’ve …
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Posted on February 4, 2015 by GWI

At GWI, it’s our privilege to support businesses and nonprofit organizations in reaching their goals through access to high speed broadband. For many businesses, broadband helps improve productivity, supports virtual collaboration and geographic expansion and powers e- commerce to boost sales. For one of our non-profit customers, the Information Technology Exchange based in Belfast, a recent fiber installation has not only helped them dramatically increase productivity – they’re using it to provide affordable computers and …
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