OTELCO announced there will be fiber network construction to approximately 1,650 locations in Scarborough. The map above shows an approximation of where the build will be, highlighted in blue, and is subject to change should field conditions dictate as the final engineering is conducted. Courtesy photo Tracy Scheckel

SCARBOROUGH — Telecommunications provider OTELCO announced on July 1 that the business is investing in fiber internet infrastructure in Maine communities, including Scarborough.

OTELCO is making a $33 million investment in fiber-to-the-premise infrastructure, and Scarborough could see this in about 1,650 locations throughout the town, the company said.

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 a press release. “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.”

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,” she 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.”

Scarborough construction is slated to start in December of this year, with service available in early 2022, Scheckel said.

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.

People can visit otelco.com/build/scarborough-me to learn more.

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