Biddeford, Maine- Biddeford Internet Corporation d.b.a. GWI, Maine’s premier provider in fiber-optic internet service and the state’s first B Corporation certified Internet Service Provider (ISP), proudly announced today that they will be beginning construction on the new fiber-based broadband network in the city of Belfast, Maine.
The project is made possible through a trusted partnership between GWI and Arctaris Impact Fund, LP and Arctaris Opportunity Zone Fund, LLC. Arctaris is a Boston-based investment firm aimed at growing service in underserved regions. Arctaris funding will advance the project with GWI designing, building, operating, and selling internet services in the region once built. In total, the network will pass over 2,000 premises.
“I have seen firsthand the cost of not having this resource available to students, families, and businesses in our community. Our small businesses have been limited in a changing economy because a poor connection limits their access to new markets – or there is no access at all,” stated City Manager Erin Herbig. “We are grateful to have partnered with GWI and Arctaris on this important project that will positively impact the future of both businesses and families in Belfast.”
The GWI fiber service will vastly improve the digital lives of the people of Belfast. Fiber broadband technology is heralded as future-proof in its ability to easily scale and grow with the technological needs of a community, as well as being ultra reliable and resilient. Unlike DSL, copper cable, satellite, or 5G service, fiber will neither degrade over time, nor is it susceptible to service interruptions. Additionally, speeds will not throttle at peak-usage hours. GWI’s network speeds are up to a gigabit level, both upload and download currently at its fastest tier with capacity to increase along with consumer demand. Furthermore, the service comes with a speed guarantee, no data caps, and GWI will not resell customer data. GWI participates in the Federal Communication Commission’s Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), providing discount-eligible Americans and individuals on qualifying Tribal lands with money off of their internet bills. Lastly, the area will receive GWI’s 24/7/365 live customer support.
“The staff and I at GWI are immeasurably thrilled to be bringing fiber service to our neighbors, colleagues, and friends to the Belfast community. We have been collaborating with community leaders over the last couple of years and it is very exciting to see the starting manifestation of hard work and intentionality. To participate in the continuing growth of Belfast, address the needs of its citizens and provide 21st century internet infrastructure that will have generational impact is an honor, ” stated President and COO of GWI, Kerem Durdag.
“It’s very exciting news for the people of Belfast to learn that GWI has the green light to proceed with the Phase 1 build out of ‘Fiber to the Premise’ in Belfast,” stated City Councilor and Broadband Committee member Mary Mortier. “This has been a priority of the Belfast City Council and the Broadband Committee for a number of years. Construction of this fiber-based network will provide reliable, long term internet connectivity to meet the most demanding needs of our community whether individuals, families, entrepreneurs and small or large businesses. We are looking forward to the launch and completion of construction of Phase 1 in 2023 and additional information as it becomes available in the near future. This is very important news for our community and our continuing broad based economic development.”
GWI has already started the design work and is quickly progressing to construct the network with goals to begin offering service to customers in late 2023. Detailed coverage maps will be posted on the GWI website soon.