BRUNSWICK, Maine (AP) — A 1,100-mile high-speed Internet project connecting more than 100 Maine communities is accepting customers after its completion this summer, officials said Friday.
The Three Ring Binder project is named for the three rings of fiber-optic networks that circle through rural western, eastern and northern Maine. It spans 110,000 households, 600 schools, libraries and other institutions and 38 government facilities.
Twelve customers already are leasing fiber on the network and another 29 contracts are under consideration, Maine Fiber CEO Dwight Allison said Friday.
The formal celebration of the completion of the $30 million project was held at Oxford Networks’ data center, located in a former high-security building that was home to fleet communications at Brunswick Naval Air Station, now known as Brunswick Landing.
Oxford Networks, Great Works Internet and Pioneer Broadband are three of Maine Fiber’s customers, and they said Friday that they are expanding their services. Also, the University of Maine System is using the Three Ring Binder as the broadband backbone to connect all of its campuses.
Telecommunications experts say the network provides the backbone for high-speed Internet access to rural communities and to attract businesses.
Most of the cost of the project — about $25 million — was funded through federal stimulus money. Maine Fiber was created to oversee the project.