Rural Maine communities to benefit from high-speed Internet
Albany, NY – April 4, 2023 – FirstLight, a leading provider of digital infrastructure services to enterprise and carrier customers throughout the Northeast and mid-Atlantic, announced today it has expanded its fiber network in rural Maine, adding more than 100 miles of new fiber to the western Maine towns of Hebron and Sumner.
To date, approximately 300 residences or locations in Hebron will now have access to high-speed fiber Internet, and that number continues to grow as FirstLight continues to deliver on its expansion plans.
“Many rural areas in Maine still have service provided via copper lines, which provide low-speed Internet,” explained Patrick Coughlin, Chief Development Officer. “Getting an upgrade with fiber optics allows for much faster connectivity and a better user experience.”
Copper-based transmissions have a maximum speed of 25-100 Mbps. Whereas fiber can offer virtually unlimited bandwidth, with speeds up to 400 Gbps available today. “Access to fiber-based broadband services will significantly improve quality of life for residents of rural Maine who are increasingly working remotely, studying and learning online, shopping, and streaming,” added Coughlin. “High-speed Internet has become an economic development tool attracting residents who can now work in sophisticated, high-paying jobs from their Maine homes.”
FirstLight would like to accelerate the speed of its self-funded fiber builds in its ILEC as well as other areas in its service territory and has submitted state and federal funding grant requests to help offset the high cost of building in rural locations. FirstLight aims to make fiber-based broadband available to more locations throughout its six-state network.
FirstLight serves some of Maine’s largest educational, healthcare, government, and financial services institutions, as well as manufacturers and small businesses, providing low latency, symmetrical broadband. It also offers cloud, data center, and cybersecurity solutions to a growing number of Maine organizations. FirstLight currently has nearly 4,000 fiber route miles in Maine and continues to expand its network. Its fiber network connects to the cable landing station in Halifax, Nova Scotia and traverses a unique route through the state and into Boston, Mass.
In addition to serving business organizations, FirstLight also provides traditional telecommunications services to residential customers by operating as an Incumbent Local Exchange Carrier (ILEC) in parts of Central and Western Maine as well as a CLEC (Competitive Local Exchange Carrier).