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Farmington, ME

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[availability] FairPoint expanding service in Farmington


FairPoint expanding service in Farmington, New Sharon, Chesterville

FARMINGTON - The expansion of broadband service to areas in Farmington, New Sharon and Chesterville for the first time is good news for homes and businesses that have been waiting for high speed Internet to come their way.

FairPoint Communications announced it has expanded broadband service to an additional 299 homes and businesses in the Farmington area.

According to spokesman Jeff Nevins, the expansion in the Farmington area is part of FairPoint’s regulatory settlement approved by the Maine Public Utilities Commission to increase broadband access to 83 percent of its service areas in Maine by the end of the year. High-speed connection areas include portions of the following roads in the Farmington, New Sharon and Chesterville areas: Philbrick, Farmington Falls, Chesterville Hill, Paul, Mason, Croswell, Lucy Knowles, Pope, Stinchfield Hill, Cape Cod Hill, Vienna, George Thomas, Cohoon, Whittier, Cross, Dump, Clark, Blackberry and Hovey.

“We are expanding,” Nevins said, adding, “we’re at about 76 percent now” in providing broadband to its service area in Maine. Just which areas in Franklin County may be hooked up next won’t be announced until the company is sure what the order of expansion will be.

“We’re trying to be careful about setting expectations,” Nevins explained, so that no one will end up disappointed. He said the order of hook up depends on where customers live in relation to the company’s remote terminals, from which the DSL is pushed out to consumers. The company has been building its high speed network for more than two years, having invested more than $124 million on communications infrastructure and technology including building over 700 miles of new fiber, bringing its fiber-based, high capacity network called VantagePoint. The higher capacity network provides for speeds of up to 15 Mbps with enhanced services.

“Broadband access opens doors to the world for the residents and businesses in Maine and is fundamental to the state’s future economic growth,” said Mike Reed, FairPoint’s Maine state president in a prepared statement . “Our employees are working every day to build more broadband across the state. We are pleased to announce the availability of high-speed Internet for these residents in the Farmington area.”

At the same time, U.S. Senators Olympia J. Snowe (R-Maine) and John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) announced today the release of a study they requested in 2008 from the Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy regarding the availability of broadband for America’s small businesses. The report was commissioned to evaluate what broadband services are currently available to small businesses and at what cost.

According to a prepared statement, Sen. Snowe, a ranking member of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, said the report emphasized more should be done to make broadband accessible and affordable for small businesses.

“I have heard from numerous small business owners from across Maine who depend on a fast and reliable broadband connection as a matter of basic business survival, but who regrettably are struggling for increased access and speed because rural areas still lack adequate broadband service. Indeed, Maine is a prime example of a state where increased broadband utilization can have a dramatic impact on businesses’ ability to grow and expand by selling goods to new markets, both domestic and foreign. It is my hope that the SBA, its resource partners, and other relevant agencies will take great strides to ensure increased small business access to broadband as they implement the National Broadband Plan,” according to a press release issued today.

Nevins advised that those interested in finding out if broadband is available at their location to call 1-866-984-2001 and give their phone number and address or visit www.FairPoint.com.