FairPoint Communications has completed work to extend broadband communications services to the remainder of the island of Vinalhaven, making high-speed Internet available for the first time to eligible customers.

More than 180 residents and businesses — who did not previously have broadband service — now have access to high-speed Internet. These residents are able to quickly email photos, download large documents, utilize video conferencing and surf the Internet.

“FairPoint has invested more than $193 million in northern New England to expand broadband availability since 2008. However, delivering broadband to high-cost, hard-to-serve areas is a challenge,” said Mike Reed, FairPoint’s Maine state president, in a news release. “We understand how important access to broadband is to the residents and businesses on Vinalhaven and this demonstrates our continued commitment to support economic growth in Maine.”

The total cost of the project was approximately $180,000 with FairPoint contributing more than $54,000 toward the cost and the remainder coming from a grant through the ConnectME Authority. These residents will now have broadband service available with speeds ranging from 1.5M/768K to 15M/1M. Customers may qualify for different speeds based upon their distance from the remote terminal that serves their specific location.

The grant garnered widespread backing from the community, as letters of support were included in the application from the board of selectmen of Vinalhaven, U.S. Congresswoman Chellie Pingree, State Rep. Walter Kumiega, former Maine State Sen. Chris Rector, the Vinalhaven Fire Department and EMA, the Vinalhaven Chamber of Commerce, Island Community Medical Services, Partners in Island Education, SAD 8 and several letters from local businesses and residents.

High-speed connection areas include portions of the following roads on Vinalhaven: A.W. Smith, Barley Hill, Boy Scout Point, Breaker’s, Brown’s Head Light, Calderwood Neck, Clough, Company Point, Coomb’s Neck, Cripple Creek, Crockett’s River, Eastholm, Eisler’s, Fishhead, Haven, Hopkin’s Point, Mill’s Farm, Polly’s Cove, Poole’s Hill, Poor Farm, River Mouth, Round the Island, Round the Mountain, Starboard Rock, State Beach, Stetson’s, Terry, Tip Toe Mountain, Westview, Young and Zeke’s Point.