June 26, 2019
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New York firm buys a major Maine broadband provider

Whit Richardson | BDN
Whit Richardson | BDN
Fletcher Kittredge, CEO of Biddeford-based GWI, speaks at an event in Brunswick in September 2012 celebrating the completion of the Three Ring Binder project, which he was instrumental in launching. In the background are, from the left, Dwight Allison, CEO of Maine Fiber Co.; U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud; and George Gervais, commissioner of the Department of Economic and Community Development.

Maine Fiber Co., the Portland-based company that runs the Three Ring Binder broadband network, has been acquired by a New York fiber-optic network services company.

Financial details of the transaction, announced Thursday by purchaser FirstLight Fiber of Albany, New York, were not disclosed.

The acquisition is expected to enhance Maine’s fiber-optic networks, which deliver high-speed internet and other information to homes and businesses.

The Three Ring Binder internet project, completed in 2012, encompasses three interconnecting circles that run through rural western, eastern and northern Maine from Fort Kent to Biddeford.

The Maine Fiber Network gives FirstLight access to routes into Canada, including a cable landing and the Maritime Express Route from Nova Scotia to Boston.

Maine Fiber was formed to oversee the construction, maintenance and leasing of the high-capacity Three Ring Binder network, which spans more than 1,000 miles.

The network was built through a combination of a federal grant and private investment. The network has so-called “middle mile” access to connect the fiber backbone to communications carriers that in turn sell internet service to business and residential customers.

“Over the past 10 years, we have built a 1,300-route mile, middle mile dark fiber network in areas throughout the state of Maine that were historically underserved,” Dwight Allison III, CEO of Maine Fiber, said in a prepared statement.

“Now as part of FirstLight, a larger network of dark fiber is available to help us realize our mission of providing our customers access to a quality broadband network,” Allison said.



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