Rockport first to launch town-owned fiber optic Internet network

Aug 11, 2014
U.S. Sen. Angus King, I-Maine attended the launching of the state's first town-owned fiber optic Internet network Aug. 11.

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.

Comments (3)
Posted by: Kenneth O Frederic | Aug 12, 2014 10:03

I'm stuck with DSL.  Time Warner demanded $5K to bring cable the last 1000 feet into our neighborhood.  It's well past time that the providers of services and content were relieved of the ability to control the distribution infrastructure.  We should be free to pick services and entertainment from any provider in the U. S. A competitive marketplace not tied to who controls the wires would lower prices and stop the bandwidth rationing.  Tell the FTC to stop the merger of Comcast and Time Warner, we don't need bigger monopolies, we need to create small, efficient, competitive small businesses.

Posted by: Mary A McKeever | Aug 12, 2014 08:28

I agree Susan. I live in Thomaston and would love a faster connection. I am stuck with the slow Time Warner and can get faster if I pay for faster, DAH! I think I pay enough and am all for Senior rates. I am a Senior and proud of it but pension money put aside years ago is not competitive in this economy. Someone should do an internet article on the cost of food and housing in this changing economy.

Mickey McKeever

Posted by: Susan Sinclair | Aug 12, 2014 05:26

This is great, but are they going to expand it beyond the harbor? I hope so, sooner rather than later. MUCH SOONER! We need to catch up with other New England states, and it really does make a huge difference in what an individual can do.

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