Published by BDN Business on April 29th, 2019
By Lori Valigra
A planned broadband cable that would run through rural areas of western Maine promises to bring high-speed internet access to large, underserved areas of the
state, but it could take awhile.
The broadband cable would be strung as part of the controversial New England Clean Energy Connect, or NECEC, hydropower project by Central Maine Power and Hydro-Quebec that would run from Canada to Lewiston. The NECEC project still must gain key permits and approvals, which developers hope will happen by the end of this year.
If the NECEC gets the go-ahead from all parties, it would become operational in 2022, which, as planned, is when the broadband also would be ready for use. The hydroelectric project would use some strands of the broadband fiber for operations, with the rest available to communities that abut it.
CMP already has laid out its vision of how the towns along the corridor would tap into the cable, along with options for how they could pay for those connections.
“This project has a strategic role. It is running through major areas where the state doesn’t have fiber-optic broadband,” said Thorn Dickinson, vice president of business development at Avangrid, CMP’s parent company.
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