Rockport first to launch town-owned fiber optic Internet network
Rockport — Representatives from the town of Rockport, Maine Media Workshops + College, Network Maine, and Internet service provider GWI Aug. 11 announced the official launch of Maine’s first municipally-owned, ultra-fast fiber optic Internet network in Rockport.
The “High Tech Harbor” project, which is now in its final phases, delivers Internet up to 100 times faster than a regular broadband connection to area homes and businesses.
“This project is so important because for the first time in human history people can work where they live rather than having to live where they work. Effectively, they have been freed of geography,” said Sen. Angus King said in a news release. “But the key to that freedom is securing the right infrastructure and the right connections, so that places — whether it’s Maine or Bangladesh or India or Mexico — can join and participate in the world community. In today’s world, Internet service is exactly like water. It’s exactly like electricity. It’s a public utility that is necessary in order for our economy and our country to flourish. And today, Rockport, along with its citizens and businesses, has taken a significant step forward in ensuring that it is well-positioned to utilize and enjoy the many benefits of this tremendous new technology.”
The new “gigabit per second” network in Rockport, which can transmit 1,000 megabits of data per second, is the result of a public-private partnership between the town government, private industry and educational institutions. The first of its kind in Maine, this community-owned, ultra-high-speed network is an important step forward for economic development and technology infrastructure in the state.
At King’s invitation, Susan P. Crawford, who served as President Obama’s special assistant for Science, Technology, and Innovation policy in 2009 and is a leading advocate for high-speed Internet access in the U.S., also attended the event.