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Broadband Committee

Sumner’s Broadband Committee is pleased to announce that the Town has been successful, in partnership with Great Works Internet (GWI), in securing USDA funding for Broadband. GWI can now proceed with the construction of an aerial fiber network providing high speed internet services to all residents and businesses in Sumner, Hartford and Hebron, who elect the service.

We know there are residents of our three communities who need better internet service, and some who don’t have service at all. High speed internet access is increasingly necessary for us to function fully and effectively in the digital age. Whether it be for purposes of Education, Business, Health, Community Connection, Public Safety, or simply Shopping and Entertainment, the volume of data is overwhelming conventional networks such as DSL. High Speed Fiber is the solution. 

Services & Costs

The Download/Upload Speeds/ Services being offered by GWI, and monthly costs are:

  • 125/125 mbps-$54.95

  • 250/250 mbps-$74.95

  • 500/500 mbps-$129.95

  • Unlimited Local/Long Distance Calling-$14.95 (Does not include taxes and fees)

  • Wi-Fi Gateway Router-$5.00
     

This will likely compare favorably to current service and cost levels in our area. As an example, one of our Committee Members services and costs are as follows:

  • 13/.90mbps-$40.05 (DSL)

  • Unlimited Local/Long Distance Calling-$56.29 (Does not include taxes and fees)
     

The GWI Download speed is over 7X faster, the upload speed over 100X faster. The current internet and phone charges are $96.34. (With lots of phone problems.) The GWI,100/100 High Speed Internet and Unlimited Long Distance/Local calling, with the Wi-Fi, is $74.94. Not a very difficult decision.

Project Schedule

The Network Design Phase will begin shortly. In a few weeks you will be receiving a Broadband Survey which we are asking everyone to complete online, or alternatively in hardcopy, and drop at the Town Office. This information will assist in the Design Phase. It should take about 10 minutes to complete.
 

The Network Design is expected to be completed at the end of 2020, with construction starting immediately thereafter.  The Design will fill in all the information we as residents and businesses will need to know to make informed decisions. The main fiber lines should be up in May, with residential and business connections then becoming available as the crews move throughout the network. The project could be completed by Fall, 2021.
 

Stay tuned, complete the survey and direct any questions you may have to David Tatro.  He can be reached at dtatro@staff.gwi.net or at (207) 494-2124.

About GWI:

Incorporated in 1994, GWI is Maine’s oldest Internet Service Provider (ISP). 100% Maine owned, GWI recently became the first broadband carrier in the nation to achieve B Corporation certification. GWI was also the catalyst of the Three Ring Binder in 2009, an open-access fiber optic network that brought 21st century technology into the state of Maine and currently serves Maine Schools, and Governmental Institutions.

GWI, a Maine-based Internet Service Provider has received grant money to help build out broadband internet in several rural Maine communities. However, in order to better pinpoint areas that are most in need, it would be helpful to complete a speed test through the Maine Broadband Coalition. Data from your speed test can also potentially help to secure more funding for the fiber buildout. You can take the speed test here. You can also track the progress of speed tests throughout the state by visiting MBC’s interactive map. In addition to viewing statewide results, the map breaks down speed tests by Internet Service Provider if you hover over that ISP in the list. It also includes a handy legend to help you decipher what the speeds are in each region.

Why is speed testing important in Maine?

Taking the Maine Broadband Coalition’s speed test will help create better maps and show state officials where service is (and is not.) This will help your community be ready for grant funding.  

How will our community benefit from broadband?

  • Remote Learning

  • Work from Home

  • Telemedicine

  • Communication

For additional questions or more information regarding broadband, please contact the Sumner Town Office

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