FirstLight, a provider of digital infrastructure services to enterprise and carrier customers throughout the Northeast and mid-Atlantic, announced it has expanded its fiber network in rural Maine, adding more than 100 miles of new fiber to the western towns of Hebron and Sumner.
To date, approximately 300 residences or locations in Hebron now will 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,” said 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.
“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,” Coughlin added. “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 incumbent local exchange carrier (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, health care, 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 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 route through the state and into Boston.
In addition to serving business organizations, FirstLight provides traditional telecommunications services to residential customers by operating as an ILEC in parts of Central and Western Maine as well as a competitive local exchange carrier (CLEC).