Fairpoint to use federal funds to expand rural Maine broadband

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AUGUSTA — FairPoint Communications is getting nearly $80 million over six years to provide broadband Internet service to more rural Maine residents.

The Portland Press Herald reports that the money is coming from the federal Connect America Fund, which was developed by the Federal Communications Commission to expand broadband service in high-cost areas.

The company plans to expand the service in 35,500 locations. Mike Reed, FairPoint’s president in Maine, says it hasn’t yet decided which areas will be the first to see the investment.

The $13.3 million annual federal funds aren’t expected to cover the total cost of the project. Reed says he doesn’t yet know how much the company will have to pay, but feels “it’s the right move to make in the long run.”

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