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(South Portland, Maine) This morning the City of South Portland announced an innovative public/private partnership to deploy a fiber-optic, “gigabit-per-second” Internet network that will serve both business and residential customers within the City. Partnering with Internet provider GWI (www.gwi.net), the winning bidder in response to a Request For Proposal (RFP) that the city issued, the City will initiate a three-phase project that will bring approximately four miles of optical fiber, and ultra high-speed Internet service, to a significant portion of the City. The first phase will connect Maine’s “3-Ring Binder” to the Mill Creek, Knightville Ocean Avenue, Highland Avenue and Evans Avenue corridors; the second phase will connect the James Baka Drive, Western Avenue, Westbrook Street and Wescott Road corridors; and a third phase will expand the network even farther, as funding becomes available. “This is a visionary step forward for the City of South Portland,” said Gerard “Jerry” Jalbert, … Continue reading
BIDDEFORD, MAINE – Maine is receiving national attention it doesn’t necessarily want: a terrible review of the poor quality of Internet speeds available in the state, and as a result, serious questions about the state’s economic future. Bloomberg Television published a report today (http://bloom.bg/1qb8Rx7) entitled, “Maine’s Big Problem: Why Is Internet Service So Bad?” To tee up the story on its web site, Bloomberg TV wrote, “If being online is the future of business, what future does a business have if it can’t get online? That’s the billion-dollar question in the state of Maine, where Internet service is among the worst in the nation.” The report itself is unvarnished, bluntly stating that for four consecutive years, Forbes magazine has rated Maine the worst state in the nation in which to do business. The stark analysis came as no surprise to Fletcher Kittredge, CEO of GWI, a Maine-owned Internet service provider. … Continue reading
PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP BRINGS SUPER HIGH SPEED INTERNET CONNECTIVITY TO THE TOWN OF ROCKPORT, MAINE IN ‘HIGH TECH HARBOR’ PROJECT
The Town of Rockport, Maine Media Workshops + College, Network Maine (part of the UMaine System), and internet service provider GWI worked together to bring ultra-fast fiber optic internet infrastructure to the Rockport village area. The “High Tech Harbor” project, now in its final phases, delivers internet up to 100 times faster than a regular broadband connection to homes and businesses nearby. “It is widely recognized that Maine’s economic future is bound up with our internet infrastructure,” says Rockport Town Manager Richard Bates, “whether you are a small business looking to sell Maine goods world wide, or a technologically-focused company working with the newest media-based technologies.” This community owned ultra-high-speed network infrastructure is a first for Maine. The public/private partnership that made it possible is made up of municipal government, private industry, and educational institutions, and is also unique in the state. Partnership such as this on the local level … Continue reading
ROCKPORT, ME – U.S. Senator Angus King of Maine, the Town of Rockport, Maine Media Workshops + College, GWI and Network Maine (part of the UMaine System) will hold a press conference on Monday to officially launch the first municipally-owned ultra-fast internet network in Maine. Attending the press conference at the invitation of Senator King will be Susan P. Crawford, who served as President Barack Obama’s Special Assistant for Science, Technology, and Innovation Policy. She is the author of “Captive Audience: The Telecom Industry and Monopoly Power in the New Gilded Age,” in which she suggests that high-speed Internet access in the U.S. is as essential as electricity, but is currently too slow and too expensive. Thirty countries have faster Internet speeds than the U.S., and a recent study ranked Maine 49th out of 50 states for Internet access and quality. The new network in Rockport is a “gigabit per … Continue reading
BIDDEFORD, MAINE – The CEO of a Maine-owned Internet service provider released a position paper today that outlines “10 Recommendations for Improving Maine’s Inferior Broadband Standing.” The publication is in response to an unexpected finding that shook Maine’s business and political communities earlier this year. In January, Portland Press Herald writer J. Craig Anderson reported that the state of Maine ranks 49th out of the 50 states for its quality and availability of high-speed Internet access. The story unsettled many of the state’s business and political leaders, including Fletcher Kittredge, Chief Executive Officer of GWI. Dubious at first, Kittredge began to research the report, and concluded that Anderson’s findings were correct. Kittredge says he’s concerned that public policy may doom the state to a difficult economic future. He pulls no punches in his analysis of Maine’s poor standing in relation to other states, arguing that governmental telecommunications policies and prevailing … Continue reading
BIDDEFORD, MAINE – GWI announced the hiring of Edward Littlefield, most recently the Owner & Principal of Collaborative IT Solutions LTD, as Director of Support. In his new role, Littlefield will oversee both residential and business technical & field support. “Ed’s extensive experience in IT and managed services will be vital for us as we offer more and more managed services to our business customers,” said GWI VP of Operations Heather Kelley. “His track record running large support organizations will also play a key role as we transition our residential and commercial business towards more fiber-based connections. We are pleased to welcome him to the GWI team.” Littlefield has over 30 years of experience successfully leading support organizations for companies with up to 20,000 employees. At McCain Foods, he developed and implemented a 5-year IT infrastructure strategic plan with an emphasis on aligning IT as a true business partner. At … Continue reading
BIDDEFORD, MAINE – GWI is pleased to announce that business disagreements between the company and Maine Fiber Company (MFC) of Portland, Maine have been settled in a mutually beneficial manner, and litigation will not proceed. Terms of the settlement are confidential, but GWI is pleased to move forward with MFC under a structure which will enable GWI to pursue our long-term, strategic business objective of bringing high-speed internet service to rural areas of Maine. GWI appreciates MFC’s commitment to resolving our differences in a professional and constructive manner and we look forward to working together to enhance broadband speed and availability throughout our state. # # #
GWI CEO Fletcher Kittredge will join national and local broadband leaders in presenting at the Southern Maine Broadband Summit tomorrow April 30, 2014 from 8:30-Noon at the Harold Alfond Forum on the University of New England’s Biddeford Campus. Kittredge will join representatives from Fairpoint Communications and TDS Telecom for a panel discussion entitled “Investing in Maine Broadband Infrastructure- on the front lines.” The Summit’s keynote will be delivered by Blair Levin, a former FCC official and national broadband thought leader who oversaw the development of the National Broadband Plan. Representatives from Axiom Technologies, Tilson Technologies, Maine Fiber Company, and the ConnectME Authority will also be participating in panel discussions and Q&A. The event is free and open to the public, but space is limited. RSVP to Marian Alexandre at email@example.com or 207-324-2942 to reserve a seat.