FairPoint Communications says it's continuing to expand broadband in Maine by upgrading central offices in 13 towns from Wells to Frenchville. 

The upgrades mean faster broadband internet speeds for more than 32,450 locations in Brownville, Bucksport, Columbia, Danforth, Dixfield, Frenchville, Guilford, Lubec, Madison, Monson, Skowhegan, Waldoboro and Wells.


Last summer, FairPoint accepted 13.3 million in funding from the federal Connect America Fund, which subsidizes the expansion of broadband service to the country’s rural areas.

The North Carolina-based company operates the largest land-line telephone network in northern New England, employing more than 1,700 union workers, including about 800 in Maine. Contingent with those funds is the expansion of broadband Internet service in 35,500 underserved Maine locations as defined by the Federal Communications Commission using census data analysis.   FairPoint has spent the past year determining how to implement the upgrades.

The service must offer locally affordable download speeds of at least 10 megabits per second and upload speeds of 1 megabit per second, and less than 100 milliseconds of latency.


The central offices are physical buildings that house the telecommunications equipment needed to deliver broadband service to residents and businesses. FairPoint has invested more than $900 million in its northern New England communications infrastructure and technology since 2008.


Maine Gov. Paul LePage said the upgrades are important because broadband plays a crucial role in the state's ability to attract and retain businesses and residents.