Rockport to study town-wide fiber-optic Internet service

Apr 14, 2015

Rockport — Members of Rockport’s Select Board voted unanimously April 13 to move forward with a feasibility study to examine the possibility of providing fiber broadband connectivity to all residents and businesses in Rockport.

The town will conduct the feasibility as part of a cooperative venture with Rockland, in an attempt to encourage a regional approach to the challenge of improving broadband services in the state, according to a press release from Town Manager Rick Bates.

“It only makes sense to take a very long and strategic view when it comes to building a world-class Internet infrastructure here in Maine,” said Rick Bates, Rockport’s town manager, in the press release. “The town leaders are absolutely convinced that this is a crucial move, not only for the economy of Rockport and Rockland, but for the entire state. If we build this infrastructure, we are enabling the natural creativity and entrepreneurial spirit of our citizens to bubble up and fire the economy.”

Rockport received national attention last summer when it became the first municipality in the state to install its own fiber-optic Internet network, capable of data speeds of up to 1 gigabit-per-second, both upload and download. The town was invited to be an inaugural member of Next Century Cities, received a briefing from White House staff about President Barack Obama’s Internet strategy, and recently helped launch the Maine Broadband Coalition. Bates said elected officials in Rockport are enthusiastic about bringing world-class Internet quality and reliability to everyone in town.

“The Select Board is a well-educated group, and they know this is not some shiny new toy. Ultra-fast Internet is literally the essential building block of every Maine community’s future, and the town’s leaders are being extremely perceptive by taking this prudent step.”

Rockland and Rockport have selected Tilson to conduct the feasibility study. Bates said the study should take about three months.

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