Projects Critical to Economic Success of People in Gray, New Gloucester and Lowell Maine
(New Gloucester, ME) – Maine-based OTELCO, a division of Otelco Inc., announced today that it has won two ConnectME Authority matching grants that will allow the company to provide high-speed fiber-optic broadband service to many unserved residents of Gray, New Gloucester and Lowell Maine. The two grants totaling $52,000 will be matched by an equal investment by the company and bring speeds of up to 150 megabits per second (mbps) to at least 138 homes, 86 of which who currently meet the ConnectME Authority definition of unserved with less than 1.5 Mbps of bandwidth.
“Many of the people living in Gray, New Gloucester, and Lowell have told us what all rural Mainers know – you cannot work remotely or make a living in the modern economy with the equivalent of dial-up Internet speeds,” said Biddeford-Maine native and Otelco CEO Rob Souza. “Our company was formed by rural Mainers over 100 years ago when the major phone companies were uninterested in bringing the latest technology, then the telephone, to rural communities. Today’s announcement that we are investing to bring fiber optic infrastructure and speeds of 150 megabits per second to parts of Gray, New Gloucester, and Lowell and our recent announcement that we are have lit the northernmost portion of Maine Fiber Company’s Three Ring Binder with 10 gigabits per second demonstrates our ongoing commitment to making sure rural Maine communities and businesses have the technology they need to compete and win in today’s economy.”
“OTELCO worked closely and built strong local support for its proposal to expand fiber optic service to unserved parts of Gray, New Gloucester, and Lowell,” said ConnectME Executive Director Phil Lindley. “OTELCO provided a strong, efficient technical plan for building the infrastructure and promised to deliver speeds 150 times as fast as currently available at an affordable, reasonable price for Maine consumers. The Authority was pleased to approve these two OTELCO projects for funding.”
“Maine is an incredible place to live and in the modern economy you can live and work anywhere – if you have access to the right Internet speeds,” said Anne Gass, owner of ABG Consulting, LLC. “I live in Gray and have run my consulting business for 23 years. Our lack of speed has created many challenges as I often have to download and send large documents. I was pleased to support this OTELCO fiber expansion because it means I can more easily work from home – and it opens the door for my husband and neighbors to do so as well.”
Gray Town Manager, Deborah Cabana, in a support letter of the grant, stated, “The Town of Gray understands the value of accessible high speed internet to our residents and as a catalyst for economic development.”
OTELCO Vice President of New England Operations, Ed Tisdale predicted that the two projects would get underway this summer and be completed in approximately 6 months OTELCO will be offering speeds ranging from 50 to 150 Mbps at very competitive prices.
Otelco Inc. provides wireline telecommunications services in Alabama, Maine, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Hampshire, Vermont and West Virginia. The Company’s services include local and long distance telephone, digital high-speed data lines, transport services, network access, cable television and other related services. With approximately 99,000 voice and data access lines, which are collectively referred to as access line equivalents, Otelco is among the top 25 largest local exchange carriers in the United States based on number of access lines. Otelco operates eleven incumbent telephone companies serving rural markets, or rural local exchange carriers. It also provides competitive retail and wholesale communications services and technology consulting, managed services and private/hybrid cloud hosting services through several subsidiaries. For more information, visit the Company’s website at www.OtelcoInc.com.
Forward Looking Statements
Statements in this press release that are not statements of historical or current fact constitute forward-looking statements. Such forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other unknown factors that could cause the actual results of the Company to be materially different from the historical results, or from any future results expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. In addition to statements, which explicitly describe such risks and uncertainties, readers are urged to consider statements labeled with the terms “believes”, “belief”, “expects,” “intends,” “anticipates,” “plans”, or similar terms to be uncertain and forward-looking. The forward-looking statements contained herein are also subject generally to other risks and uncertainties that are described from time to time in the Company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.