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Two Maine communities will soon have high-speed internet access

Orono and Old Town leaders have worked with the University of Maine System for several years to build the infrastructure needed for better internet

ORONO, Maine — Residents and businesses in two Maine communities shouldhave new broadband options by next summer thanks to a decade of teamwork.

The town of Orono and the city of Old Town have worked with the University of Maine System (UMS) on building the infrastructure that will provide new high-speed internet options. 

“We would like to facilitate more work from home, more home-based businesses, and make it possible for people to make those wider connections into the world," said Orono assistant town manager Belle Ryder.

Ryder says she believes this project will allow the two communities of Orono and Old Town to have the same internet access that's available on the University of Maine campus and in larger Maine cities. 

“This symmetric service will allow for multiple people in a home to be able to fully participate via schoolwork or work, or telehealth, or whatever it may be," says Networkmaine Executive Director Jeff Letourneau. 

The high-speed internet access that will be available in Orono and Old Town is the fastest service available in Maine, Letourneau told NEWS CENTER Maine.

Other Maine communities including Islesboro, Calais, Baileyville, Sanford, and Cranberry Isles have all seen an expansion of broadband access, according to Letourneau.

“The communities have realized that nobody's going to do it for them. If they want modern-day broadband they have to be a part of the solution,” said Letourneau. 

The communities continue to negotiate a contract with a finalist to provide the internet service, so officials declined to name the company.