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Rockport, Maine Launches 100-Mbps Public-Private Internet Access Network

August 13, 2014

Rockport, Maine Launches 100-Mbps Public-Private Internet Access Network

By Gary Kim
Contributing Editor

If one supports the idea of gigabit Internet access, and other concerns notwithstanding, every new 1-Gbps Internet access deployment is to be welcomed. So, also, is every new 100-Mbps network.

So it is that Rockport, Maine is getting a new 100-Mbps network as the result of a “public-private” partnership between GWI, a local Internet service provider, the town of Rockport, Maine Media Workshops + College and Network Maine (part of the UMaine System).

In the Rockport partnership, the town used about $30,000 to help fund the construction of the 1.8-mile network passing about 70 total business and consumer locations.

Rockport has an existing fund to encourage businesses to relocate to Rockport by paying for traditional utility installations and hookups, according to the Rockport Press Herald. The town changed the language of that existing law twice to allow it to spend the money on the network build.

The total cost of the network was about $60,000. If all goes well, the network could be expanded to offer service to neighborhoods close to the network backbone, the consortium says.

Network Maine, a division of the University of Maine System that deals exclusively with wiring the university’s properties, K-12 public schools and community libraries for Internet, contributed a small amount of money as well.

GWI will be able to offer 100-Mbps service costing $69 a month, competing with Time Warner (News - Alert) Cable, whose fastest advertised service is 50 Mbps and costs about $65 per month.

According to the latest study by RVA, sponsored by the Fiber to the Home Council, here are 10.4 million homes connected with fiber to the home in North America, compared with 9.7 million in May 2013.

There also now are 58 providers offering gigabit-per-second 1-Gbps Internet access service, the study indicates. Surveyed users report now spending over five hours a day online at home, connecting an average of 5.5 devices.

Users under age 35 now report getting slightly over half of their video content from online sources, as well. 

Edited by Adam Brandt
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