A tentative map of fiber-to-the-internet build in Cape Elizabeth, which could see about 2,400 locations receiving fiber-to-the-premise. This map could change based on field conditions. Courtesy photo

CAPE ELIZABETH — Telecommunications provider OTELCO announced on July 1 that it is investing in fiber internet infrastructure in Maine communities, including Cape Elizabeth.

OTELCO is making a $33 million investment in fiber-to-the-premise infrastructure, and Cape Elizabeth could see this in about 2,400 locations throughout the town, the company said in a news release.

Fiber is designed to transmit data, unlike cable and DSL, which were built for phones and TV, said information from OTELCO’s website. “Fiber broadband is delivered through networks of fiber-optic cables, which are made up of hair-thin, glass fibers wrapped in reflective coating that provide an ideal pathway for laser pulses of light to travel at high speeds.”

OTELCO, which has services in Maine, Alabama, Massachusetts, Missouri, Vermont and West Virginia, is constructing fiber-to-the-premise infrastructure in 12 Maine communities, said a press release.

“The southern portions of the build are expected to be complete by late 2021 and include construction of 66 miles of Fiber-to-the-Premise (FTTP) network in portions of Biddeford to serve approximately 8,000 locations,” OTELCO said in the email. “Cape Elizabeth will benefit from construction of 48 miles of network in portions of town, resulting in the availability of symmetrical Gigabit Internet to approximately 2,400 locations.

“Westbrook, Scarborough, Saco, and Old Orchard Beach are on a similar schedule to Cape Elizabeth and Biddeford and combined will see 18,000 locations with FTTP availability.”

OTELCO is making an investment in fiber-to-the-premise infrastructure, and Cape Elizabeth could see this in about 2,400 locations throughout the town, the company said in a recent news release. Courtesy photo

Tracy Scheckel, marketing and public relations manager, said a benefit to fiber internet is having choice and faster speeds than what is available now.

“Fiber offers faster speeds, but beyond that it also offers what we refer to as symmetrical speeds,” Scheckel said. “So the upload is as fast as the download. Upload is what you send to the internet and download is what you take from the internet, and so for general streaming things and whatnot, you don’t need as fast an upload, but for videoconferencing, it’s a two-way connection. The upload speed becomes a whole lot more important, and thanks to COVID, that has become a whole lot more important.”

According to OTELCO’s website, pre-construction work has started in Cape Elizabeth, and the company could begin offering the service by spring of 2022.

The fiber network offered from OTELCO could have speeds ranging from 150 Mbps upload and download to 1 gigabit, said the release.

Scheckel said pricing from OTELCO will range from $49 to $65.95 and then will increase by $10 after 12 months.

For more information, visit otelco.com/build/cape-elizabeth-me/.

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