What about broadband in my town? Three initiatives to expand coverage.
In the wake of our announcement of a partnership with the University of Maine to build a mixed use gigabit fiber to the premise network in Orono and Old Town, Maine, we’ve fielded many questions. Last week, we attempted to answer the customer question: “How fast is a gigabit per second?“ This week, we’ll try to tackle the question so many have asked: “What about my town?”
As our CEO Fletcher Kittredge indicated in his remarks at the Gigabit Main Street announcement, we’re committed to expanding broadband coverage and improving Internet service for all Mainers, and we have several initiatives underway to advance those goals.
Orono and Old Town are the beginning, not the end of next generation networks.
We’re building a next generation gigabit Internet network to learn a few things:
- How will ultra high speed Internet access be used? Many of the applications that will make the next generation of networks most compelling haven’t been invented yet. We chose to locate our first next generation network in these communities because we felt the student and faculty population offered significant potential for creating and adopting innovative new ways to use the network, technologies that will drive both demand for faster networks and the Maine economy.
- What is the current demand for ultra high speed access? Before we can build on a large scale, we need to know that consumers who have today’s broadband see a need for a faster connection. To learn that, we had to build in a community that already had broadband access, like Orono and Old Town.
- Can building a next generation network be a profitable business? Gigabit Main Street is not being built with public money. 100% of the construction costs are being funded by GWI. For us to be able to continue to build, we need to prove that not only are customers willing to buy an ultra-high-speed Internet connection, but we are able to build and operate it profitably at the prices customers are willing to pay. Unlike other networks like Verizon Fios, we’re not marketing TV as part of our initial offering. We want to see if we can profitably deliver just the connection, and allow our customers to get their video content from whatever source they like.
When the applications are in place that will make next generation Internet networks compelling, the demand is there for next generation network services, and we can deliver services profitably, we will build services out to other Maine communities, and we probably won’t be alone. If demand is high – it may happen faster than you think.
Are You an Orono or Old Town Resident? Get an email when Gigabit Main Street is in Your Neighborhood.
We’re still growing GWI Broadband in Maine
Second, we haven’t stopped building out our broadband network. In fact, we are bringing more communities online this year than we have in a while.
This week we announced that GWI is now serving Calais and Dover-Foxcroft, Maine. Homes and businesses in these areas now have access to our broadband Internet, unlimited phone service, and Ethernet over copper products as well as our full line of business services. These are the first of several communities we will be adding to our network over the next few months. Others include:
- Dayton (Goodwins Mills Area)
There’s still more to come.
As Fletcher indicated in his remarks at U. Maine, we have other initiatives in the works that we’re hoping to announce in the coming weeks. While we can’t say too much about them yet, you can be sure that they will involve leveraging technologies GWI has not used before to reach customers that are beyond the reach of our current network. You can be the first to learn about these new advancements by liking GWI on Facebook, following GWI on Twitter, or subscribing to our news and blog RSS feeds.