The study provides information and insights on options to improve Internet access in Fort Fairfield
Link: Fort Fairfield Broadband Feasibility Study
After months spent researching the current state of broadband in Fort Fairfield through conversations with Internet service providers, surveys of residents and businesses and with boots on the ground investigating the infrastructure that is in place, the Town of Fort Fairfield and the James W. Sewall Company are pleased to release the results of their extensive Braodband Feasibility Study.
“We know Fort Fairfield is not alone in struggling to improve our Internet access, especially in rural parts of the community,” stated Fort Fairfield Marketing and Economic Director, Tim Goff. “We also know that a robust and reliable Internet service is not going to magically manifest itself, so that is why we have invested so much time and effort to explore what we have and what it will take to get the broadband service our residents and businesses need now and in the foreseeable future.”
Through a unique partnership with the Sewall Company, the town of Fort Fairfield has worked closely with the expert staff of the Sewall Company to gather a tremendous amount of data about Internet connectivity in the community in an effort to understand what is already in place, and what options are available to improve substandard service in many rural parts of the town. The study shows that Fort Fairfield’s rural residents and businesses struggle to find reliable, fast Internet service, which impacts their ability to conduct business, work from home, connect with friends and family, or communicate effectively with others. The study also provides guidance on ways the town can work with various private Internet Service Providers to leverage federal and state funding to help subsidize the expansion of service to those more remote sections of town that are too costly for private companies to serve without public support and assistance.
“The good news is Fort Fairfield has options,” said Brian Lippold, Sewall’s Director of Broadband and Telecom Consulting. “By being engaged in the process of seeking Internet Service Providers to extend service to unserved and underserved parts of the town, Fort Fairfield has attracted the attention of providers and is better positioned to work with private companies to seek solutions to improve the situation. This study will help support those efforts and provides alternatives and approaches that will enable the town to meet with and negotiate with service providers and find ways to bring true high-speed Internet service to those parts of the community.”
The Broadband Feasibility Study was conducted free of charge for the community and can be read in its entirety by clicking this link. Copies of the study are also be available for review at the Fort Fairfield Town Office.
“We have learned a tremendous amount about what can and cannot be done to improve our Internet access,” added Goff. “The process and the information have already helped shape our approach to improve our Internet connectivity. The town recently submitted a grant proposal to the ConnectME Authority, a component of state government charged with helping to facilitate improvements in Maine’s broadband service, and we will continue to explore ways to bring reliable, high-speed Internet service to every residence in our community.”
Founded in 1880, Sewall is an international consulting organization specializing in natural resources, energy, and infrastructure. The company’s diverse portfolio is based on 135 years' experience in surveying, forestry consulting, and civil engineering; 65 years' in remote sensing; and 30 years' in GIS and other geospatial services. www.sewall.com