January 27, 2020
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Comments for: Getting high-speed Internet to Piscataquis County a priority for council

  • Before anyone gets their knicker’s in a knot and say’s ‘Thank god, finally’ there are a more than a few realities that theNorthern and  Western P’quis folks need to understand and keep an eye out for. 1st, the 3 Ring Project was fully funded by a 3 year /  $3 MILLION FEDERAL DEPT OF COMMERCE GRANT that was awarded and runs out on Sept 30 this year. To date every time you call FP and ask when the fiber optic is gonna be available all they do is ‘stroke’ you and stall. That alone tells me that whoever is in charge is sleeping, in not comatose, as far as getting this Project done. It also tells me that someone at Commerce has forgotten this Grant since nowhere is any oversight seen !

    2nd, and whats really the most disgusting part, is that FP took the money, along with Maine Fibre and ConnectMaine, and used it to to fatten their balance sheet’s, FP’s especially. The grant award provided for the installation and connection to the town’s and municipalities over a 3 year period. Commerce actually took a long look at the conditions that the fiber optic would be installed under and gave them the 3 years to allow for the winter. Given the Maine winter’s we are famous for it was considered fair and realistic. But instead these 3 companies took the 3 yr allowance and stalled, now to the point that they have only 6 months left to get the whole job done. What they all need to remember, FP in particular, is that if the WHOLE SYSTEM, not just the fiber cable, isin’t up and running that the ENTIRE $ 3 MILLION has to be re-paid to Commerce for failure to complete the project in the time alloted that they accepted as part of the Grant award and the 3 Maine companies have to ‘eat’ their cost’s. FP alone has huge problem’s, not the least of which is the fact that they are emerging, again, from Chapter 11 bankruptcy for the 2nd time in 4 years and are working on their 3rd CEO over the same time frame. FP is gonna’ have to re-pay their portion of the Grant and guess who’s gonna be looking for a new job ? Their Annual Stockholder’s Meeting is gonna’ need EMT’swith mop’s to clean up the bloodbath that’s clearly coming if they keep going this way. As far as Maine Fiber and ConnectMaine go, well, let’s just say that they are gonna get caught in the same spray. I hope they have the cash to re-pay or someone’s not get their Capt. Midnight Decoder ring for Xmas ths year ! 

    3 Ring was designed, and awarded, to get every town in the Service Designated Area hook’ed up and connected by Sept 30, 2012. That means that the 3 companies are responsible for their getting all these town’s up and running, not up and running PROFITABLY.The profit portion is what the companies get when the run the system efficiently AND PROFITABLY, not gouging their customer’s like some do. And there are always those pesky satellite systems out there as well too. The Grant Award was awarded soley for the system to be installed and connected, and not for these 3 companies to use the grant award to fatten their balance sheets. Come Sept 30 I, for one, would seriously suggest to you folk’s in Northern and Western P’quis ask some very hard, and frankly offensive, questions when and if this ‘moose with a football’ process start’s, if it ever does. FP has done everything they can to stall and delay their responsibilities they know they have on this project. I’m just waiting for the eventual Commerge Dept’s Insspector General Compliance Audit to happen.  And if FP isin’t careful, given the recent 1st Wind nonsense, the PUC might just get into it, if for nothing else than for them to show everybody that they do exist. If the PUC want’s to be taken seriously then I can’t think of a better place to start, can you ?

    • Anonymous

       The Three Ring Binder project is only for middle mile fiber.  It’s up to service providers to use this to push broadband out to the last mile.  They’d have to interconnect with this middle mile, and have equipment to provide services (either on a pole, in remote terminals on the ground, central offices, or huts).  The Three Ring Binder was never meant to directly connect to businesses and homes.  It was designed to facilitate this connection, but only via actual service providers with last mile facilities (copper, fiber). 

      FairPoint has nothing to do with Three Ring Binder, besides opposing it, make ready work on poles, and pole licensing work.  They in no way manage Three Ring Binder.  That’s all done by Maine Fiber Company.  You may want to have your neighbors petition local Internet Service Providers to service your area, if FairPoint isn’t willing.  They have their own facilities, and usually plenty of them.  I highly doubt they’d use much of the Three Ring Binder middle mile fiber, although they can if they want to apply for it.

      Three Ring Binder was only meant to pass through marked areas by the deadline, and not homes/businesses.

      You can read more here:

      • Sir, with all due respect FP IS THE SERVICE PROVIDER here in The County other than some small and very local provider’s. I have had numerous discussion’s with FP workcrews and their service office in Lewiston. They all are waiting for the time when they can start getting their local crews out to individual homes and business’s to get 3 Ring connections up and running. more so since FP itself is announcing that they are the provider of the service in their monthly mailer’s that come with the bill. The local workcrews here in the south end of The County are getting bombarded with the same question every time an Internet question comes up, i.e., ‘When is it going to be available and how do I sign up ?” Now, if you want to go and declare FP a liar here in public, fine by me. But I just wonder what FP, Maine Fibre and ConnectMaine are going to have to say when they get the ‘smack in the mouth’ and have to answer for it ? Given that there’s $ 3 MILLION DOLLAR’S riding on the answer, I for one would suspect that FP is going to do all it can to keep that ax from coming down on it’s collective neck.

        And as far as the PUC goes, if you got a way to make it work better, fine. Say it and stand up for it. Otherwise do us all a favor and just go sit in your corner and quit whining about it. You’re either part of the solution or part of the problem. Your turn to make your stand.  

        • Anonymous

          I had no knowledge that FairPoint was going to interconnect with the Three Ring Binder, but like I said,  they’re more than welcome to.  I’m not going to call them liars, since I don’t know the whole story.

          I’m pretty sure that Pioneer Broadband is going to be working on various interconnections to the Three Ring Binder in the County, as well.  I know they aren’t huge, but it’s something.

          My whole point was that the project was designed to be a middle mile, to
          bridge the gap between service provider and customer.   FairPoint has
          little say in how the Three Ring Binder work is done, once they perform
          make ready/licensing work, since they aren’t managing it.  I’m pretty sure there aren’t any stipulations to the grant that say x
          number of homes/businesses need to connect to it in one way, or another,
          though.  I think that all they need to accomplish is to finish running the middle mile dark fiber.  The actual providers light strands on the Three Ring Binder.  Maine Fiber Company is only meant to build/maintain the middle mile.

          I’m not sure what service FairPoint is offering via the Three Ring Binder, but I hope it’s something, for all of our sakes.  The more broadband options we all have, the better.

    • The PUC ? Lol ! When they get involved we’re really screwed ! All the PUC ever does is back the big money. They could care less about the “Public” part of their name when those kickbacks start rolling in….Just like every “authority” in these parts.

  • Liberal Soup N Crackers

    Maine, the way life outta be.

  • Living in Guilford I’ll hold my breath waiting for that….just like I’m STILL holding my breath waiting for cable TV. When the technology is designed to TAKE  more money however….ie CMP Smart meters….we’re usually first on the list.

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