Internet service provider Consolidated Communications has ramped up activity in Harpswell to install its Fidium fiber-optic residential broadband service, which a town consultant said will close the town’s remaining broadband access gap.
Based on a service map provided by Consolidated, the ongoing Fidium rollout is expected to include connecting Harpswell’s 35 to 40 remaining unserved addresses with access to broadband service, said Brian Lippold, president of Embden-based internet consulting firm Casco Bay Advisors LLC, who serves as a consultant to the town.
“It appears like it will address all of those unserved areas,” Lippold said in a phone interview. The only exceptions are two town-owned buildings at George J. Mitchell Field.
Consolidated is expanding its all-fiber internet network in parts of Harpswell, Brunswick and Topsham, the company said in a news release issued May 4. It released a detailed map of the affected areas, and a company spokesperson said in mid-October that work in Harpswell should be completed by the end of the year. Eligible residents can pre-order the service by visiting Consolidated’s website, she said.
Fidium offers speeds up to 2 gigabits per second, fast enough for several users to simultaneously stream high-definition video or participate in online gaming or videoconferencing.
More than 99% of Harpswell residents already have access to broadband service through cable giant Comcast, which offers residential service under the brand Xfinity. It offers speeds of up to 1.2 gigabits per second, a little more than half the speed Fidium is advertising.
Only large households with multiple heavy internet users would likely require download speeds of more than 1 gigabit per second, but that could change as technology advances.
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