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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Posted on January 28, 2015 by Trevor Jones

Last week, the Portland Press Herald reported that the “State says 80 percent of Mainers unserved by broadband.”  Just the week before, Maine boasted that 95% of its citizens had access to broadband Internet service. What happened? Don’t be alarmed.  No one shut down a major broadband network.  Maine changed its definition of broadband from a paltry 1.5 megabits per second download to 10 megabits per second download and 10 megabits per second upload.  In …
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Posted on January 17, 2015 by Fletcher Kittredge

2015 looks to be a more promising one for Maine’s economic infrastructure, thanks to definitive action by a pair of Maine communities and the leadership of business and political leaders at the local, state and federal level. As last year began, the landscape appeared quite a bit bleaker. On January 8, 2014, an article in the Portland Press Herald by business writer Craig Anderson shocked many business and political leaders. He reported that the State …
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Posted on December 11, 2014 by Trevor Jones

2014 has proven to be a year of increasing interest in high speed fiber networks. At GWI, we’ve built and started providing service on a small town-owned broadband network in Rockport, and begun construction on a similar fiber-to-the-premise broadband network in South Portland. We’ve also connected hundreds of businesses to ultra-fast Internet using the Three Ring Binder and other fiber networks. All this heightened interest made me think that perhaps some of our readers might …
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Posted on December 4, 2014 by Trevor Jones

Every day more Americans “cut the cord,” ditching cable or satellite to watch TV by other methods. Some are motivated to cut the ballooning costs of pay TV. Others want to take control over how they watch video and avoid paying for channels they never watch or bundles of services they don’t need. In fact, according to this Wall Street Journal article, 19% of American homes are “cable free,” relying on broadcast, high-speed Internet and …
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Posted on November 26, 2014 by GWI

For as long as cable television has been delivering a variety of viewing options into our homes, cable customers have expressed their frustration with having to pay for channels they are not watching. The idea of à la carte cable options has long been a dream for cable customers and a nightmare for cable companies that have held a tight grip on this content for decades. Last month, the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) took the …
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Posted on November 19, 2014 by Trevor Jones

The first kernel of our gigabit fiber to the home network in South Portland was created when South Portland’s IT Director Chris Dumais wrote an RFP for a network he needed to connect city buildings and asked that bidders connect homes and businesses along the way. We’re very excited to make this network available to South Portland residents, but the first phase of the network is really small and we need to connect customers really …
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Posted on November 5, 2014 by Trevor Jones

There is much excitement about the recent announcements by Rockport and South Portland that the two cities will be deploying 1 gigabit per second municipal broadband networks to homes. Not surprisingly, there is also anger and frustration from certain quarters – most especially the incumbent ISP’s who have little to gain and much to lose from the market entry of a competing network. These large corporations have successfully employed a number of arguments to slow …
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