Westbrook officials hope a new internet provider will spark economic development while providing residents with a  choice in how they get online.

Telecommunications network and high-speed internet provider Otelco recently added the majority of Westbrook to its service area, which has been served only by Spectrum.

Every time you have options for choices with utilities, that’s a good thing, especially for people that need to get to higher fiber speed and internet, said Westbrook Economic Development Director Dan Stevenson.

“Having options to choose from makes it better for us in the city, and makes us more competitive when we look at bringing (business) prospects. We have coverage, we can tell companies coming in, but you have choice,” Stevenson said.   

Otelco, with its Maine headquarters in New Gloucester, decided to expand in Westbrook because the city had only one internet provider, said Vice President of Marketing Trevor Jones. It provides coverage in Gorham, Buxton and Windham and is planning to move into Saco, Biddeford, Old Orchard Beach, Bath and part of Cumberland as well. 

The company uses fiber optic cables, which have a fast upload speed and smoother connections when multiple users in a household are online, Jones said. Uploading a Zoom call via fiber optics occurs at 50 megabytes per second, as opposed to an upload speed of 10-15 megabytes per second via cable.


Otelco finished adding their lines to utility poles, owned mostly by Central Maine Power Company, earlier this year, and is ready for Westbrook customers. 

We service fiber to the home. What that means is that we’ve strung fiber optic cables downtown,” Jones said. “From those cables, we install a drop, or another smaller fiber cable, that connects from the pole to the house.”

Rates for the fiber optic service vary, but Spectrum’s base service price is about the same cost as Otelco’s, with both company websites showing services starting at about $49.

Mayor Mike Foley said he hopes Otelco, which sponsored this year’s Winterfest in the city, will become a “long-term community partner.”

We are definitely excited to have them as a community partner, and as an option for residents when it comes to internet service,” Foley said.   “To have offerings when we haven’t had other ones, it’s a huge win and helps in the continuous improvements in the city and desire for people to live work and play here.” 

Comments are not available on this story.