Otelco plans to expamd its “fiber to the premises” network to portions of Old Orchard Beach, Saco and Biddeford in the spring of 2022. Courtesy Photo

Otelco, a telecommunications provider in Maine, Vermont and several southern states is expanding its last mile “fiber to the premises” network to include portions of Old Orchard Beach, Saco, and Biddeford as well as other areas of southern Maine.

As well as the company’s recent announcement of a 240-mile build serving nearly 9,200 locations in Gorham, Windham, Gray and New Gloucester — the latter municipality is its Maine headquarters, the company now plans to construct an additional 455 miles of fiber to serve another 43,000 locations in 12 communities, according to a company news release.

Construction in the Old Orchard Beach, Saco and Biddeford areas is expected in the spring of 2022, said spokeswoman Tracy Scheckel in recent telephone interview.

The $33 million project also includes portions of Scarborough, Westbrook, Cape Elizabeth, Yarmouth, Cumberland, Falmouth, Brunswick, Bath, and Topsham.

The Otelco fiber network will offer speeds ranging from 150 Mbps upload and download to 1 Gigabit, and according to David Allen vice president of Otelco Network Operations, “with the future in mind, we’re designing and building our network with expandability so that we can increase speed offerings as people’s needs increase.”

Once construction is complete, Otelco will begin scheduling installations. Interested residents can visit www.otelco.com/builds to learn more, company officials said in the news release.

Scheckel said fiber offers customers better upload and download speeds.

“Now that we are using internet for teleconferencing with video, the upload speed is equally as important as the download speed,” she said.

The southern portions of the build include construction of 66 miles of Fiber-to-the-Premise network in portions of Biddeford, serving 8,000 locations. Cape Elizabeth will see construction of 48 miles of network in portions of town, resulting in the availability of symmetrical Gigabit Internet to an estimated 2,400 locations. Westbrook, Scarborough, Saco, and Old Orchard Beach are on a similar schedule as Cape Elizabeth and Biddeford, and combined will see an estimated 18,000 locations with FTTP availability, Otelco officials said.

“Biddeford is in an economic boom and OTELCO’s expansion plans will provide Internet speeds that will make our community even more desirable for businesses and residents,” said Biddeford Mayor Alan Casavant in the news release.

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