Municipal Fiber to Bring Faster Internet to Small Towns in Maine

(AP) — Two small towns in Maine will receive better internet through a municipal fiber network project.

Some residences and businesses in Old Town and Orono, Maine will have access to a limited municipal fiber network when it goes live — pending a signed contract with an internet service provider, the Bangor Daily News reports.

Municipal fiber projects are an attempt to bring high-speed service to communities that have been overlooked by private companies that seek a quick return on investment, said Belle Ryder, assistant town manager in Orono.

Such can take a couple years to complete, but OTO Fiber has tried for nearly 10 years to build its own network. 

The project reached a turning point later in 2015 when it received a $250,000 Northern Border Regional Commission grant. That money and another $225,000 Old Town and Orono invested at the outset of the project were used to install fiber infrastructure.

If the OTO Fiber pilot project garners enough interest from residents and businesses outside of the initial six-mile coverage area, it could expand to other communities.

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