FairPoint Communications Inc. has met its commitment of making broadband available to more than 83 percent of homes and businesses in its Maine service area, the company announced Thursday.

The telecommunications company said high-speed Internet is now available to 83.4 percent of those homes and businesses.

As a condition of its 2008 acquisition of Verizon Inc.’s northern New England operations, FairPoint was required to reach an 83-percent goal by the end of 2010.

The company has also reached its regulatory commitments for broadband access elsewhere in northern New England by reaching an 85-percent goal in New Hampshire and 80 percent in Vermont by the end of 2010.

When FairPoint bought Verizon’s operations, only 68.9 percent of Maine customers had broadband access. The company has since made it available to another 44,000 homes and businesses in nearly 100 communities, said Michael Reed, Fairpoint’s Maine president.

Broadband expansion was a key component when regulators approved FairPoint’s acquisition of Verizon’s land telephone operations in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont. Since the deal was completed, the company has spent more than $135 million across the three states to expand its reach of broadband.

The company is on track to meet its regulatory obligations by having broadband available to 85 percent of homes and businesses in its Maine service area by July 2012 and 87 percent by March 2013, Reed said.

“As we build out to a higher and higher percentage, it’s getting more and more rural with fewer and fewer customers per mile,” Reed said. “So economically it’s a challenge, but it’s an agreement we made and that we’re following through on.”

Maine State Chamber of Commerce President Dana Connors said broadband availability allows Maine businesses to connect to customers and markets beyond Maine.

“Expanded, affordable broadband is vitally important to future economic growth,” Connors said.

FairPoint, which is based in Charlotte, N.C., is the largest telecommunications company by far in northern New England. It filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization in October 2009 and emerged from bankruptcy this week.