BANGOR, Maine — Time Warner Cable has completed the expansion of its fiber-optic network in downtown Bangor, and expects next year to at least double its investment in expanding its fiber network in the region.
The company began the Bangor fiber expansion last year and has spent more than $1 million on the project, said Fritz Ferrell, Time Warner Cable’s vice president for market development in its east region, which extends from Maine to the Carolinas. The expansion includes a fiber backbone, as well as connecting fiber to at least 350 downtown buildings, Ferrell said.
“We’ve really saturated downtown Bangor,” he said.
It’s the “first widely available fiber build” in the city, according to Andrew Russell, a spokesman for Time Warner Cable. A portion of Maine Fiber Co.’s fiber network, known as the Three Ring Binder project, passes through part of downtown Bangor, as well, Russell said.
In Portland, Time Warner Cable has extended its fiber network to more than 650 commercial buildings, Russell said.
As bandwidth becomes a necessity for Maine businesses to compete in a global economy, Ferrell said Time Warner Cable is trying to anticipate its customers needs. “If they are using our services, we want to make sure they can use scalable bandwidth solutions as they grow their business,” Ferrell said, referring to a company’s need for more bandwidth as it grows and the company’s ability to already have the infrastructure in place to meet those needs.
In total, Time Warner Cable plans to spend $5 million in Maine this year to add more than 150 miles to its 12,000-mile network of hybrid fiber-optic and coaxial cable, according to the company. At least $2 million of that focused on expanding services for commercial customers, Ferrell said.
That’s from a total of $100 million the company is spending this year on fiber expansion in its eastern region, which includes New England, New York, down to the Carolinas.
Ferrell said the company would continue next year to invest in expanding its fiber network in the east. A final dollar figure hasn’t been decided upon for next year’s investment, but Ferrell said he thinks it likely will be at least double the $100 million invested this year.
Some other noteworthy expansions of the company’s Maine fiber network are in Ellsworth, where an eight-mile extension is being built northwest along Route 1A; the northern Aroostook County town of Sinclair, which is being connected to the fiber network via nine miles of fiber being built down Route 162 from St. Agatha; and the western Maine towns of Hiram and Porter, Russell said.
By year’s end, the company estimates more than 3,000 additional homes and businesses in Maine will have access to its broadband services.
Time Warner Cable claims it’s the largest cable telecommunications provider in Maine, serving more than 360,000 customers.