PORTLAND — FairPoint Communications Inc. says it has been awarded a five-year, $25.8 million contract to provide high-speed Internet service to hundreds of schools and libraries across Maine.

FairPoint announced today that it will serve more than 650 schools and libraries that are part of the Maine School and Library Network, a statewide consortium through which participants acquire Internet access and related services.

The contract is being administered by the University of Maine System and is funded by telecommunications usage fees from the Maine Telecommunication Education Access Fund and the Federal E-Rate Program.

North Carolina-based FairPoint, which is now going through bankruptcy reorganization, operates telecommunications companies in 18 states.

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