ORONO, Maine — Plans are in the works for installing an open access, ultra-high-speed fiber line capable of handling 1 gigabyte of data per second to the town’s technology park thanks to a new partnership.
Town leaders were recently approached by Portland-based Maine Fiber Co. and Eastern Maine Healthcare Systems about adding the high-speed Internet line to the Maine Technology Park. The town’s community development committee decided Monday to move forward with presenting the plans to the full council.
“It’s coming about because Eastern Maine Healthcare is looking to go into the technology park,” Town Manager Sophie Wilson said Tuesday.
The proposed agreement is for Maine Fiber to install underground fiber along Godfrey Drive from Bennoch Road ending near Nexxlinx, which “would provide access to all the buildable lots in the park,” according to Monday’s town agenda. “At this point, which is subject to refinement, projected cost to the town is $37,000.”
That would cover half of the costs to extend the fiber to the EMHS lot with the town paying 100 percent of the cost to extend the high-speed Internet line from there to the last property in the technology park, which is across from Nexxlinx, Wilson said. In doing so, the town would own more than half of the new fiber, the town documents state.
The underground fiber will be installed with access points along the way, the town manager said.
Because the town is already working with Network Maine, a University of Maine System project to add super-high-speed Internet to Orono and Old Town, the group’s technical advisor also was brought to the table, Wilson said.
The proposed technical park project means “we can do a lot more with less,” she said.
Adding the open access, high-speed Internet line is a goal of the town. The proposal is to use funds from the Maine Technical Park Omnibus Municipal Tax Increment Finance District account, which totals $91,288.