FairPoint Communications Inc. has hired computer networking leader Cisco Systems Inc. to help expand broadband Internet access across northern New England.
“Cisco’ s selection demonstrates our commitment to deploying one of the best technologies available to help stimulate economic growth throughout the region,” FairPoint President Peter Nixon said in a statement.
FairPoint said Cisco will be a primary provider for a state-of-the-art Internet Protocol network. Financial terms were not announced.
North Carolina-based FairPoint bought Verizon Communications Inc.’ s landline telephone and Internet business in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont for $2.3 billion in March. Service is to be switched over in November.
The company has committed to expanding high-speed Internet access across the three states and spending more than $100 million in its first year to upgrade the network.
FairPoint CEO Gene Johnson last April referred to the company’ s land lines as “old school” and noted that its greatest growth potential will be in high-speed Internet service. “Broadband is the future of our business and we know that,” Johnson said.
The company also committed to meet benchmarks by each state’ s utility regulators. In New Hampshire, for example, FairPoint must invest at least $56 million within five years to make broadband available on 95 percent of its lines. The company cited progress toward those goals in a statement Monday from Manchester, N.H.
“We are excited we have now moved from the engineering and planning phase of the project to the implementation phase,” said Michael Brown, FairPoint’ s vice president for network engineering.