BETHEL — A series of meetings is planned to educate and rally local businesses and residents to get behind expanding broadband internet, according to a news release from Community Concepts.

The first meeting is from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 25, in the Telstar Regional High School library. There will be guest speakers from Time Warner Cable, Charter Communications and Oxford Networks.

Maine West, a partnership of local and regional organizations with the goal of solving challenges related to living in rural communities, is calling for area businesses and residents to get involved in expanding broadband internet service in Oxford County and surrounding towns.

“It will take all of us to get better service, and we will get better service together,” said Mia Purcell, economic development program coordinator for Community Concepts.

According to the release, the basic infrastructure for broadband internet is underutilized. A fiber optic cable, known as “Three Ring Binder,” was built by Maine Fiber Co., a dark-fiber leasing company supporting all telecommunications carriers in Maine.

MFC was formed to oversee the construction, maintenance and leasing of the 1,100-mile, high-capacity fiber optic network in Maine. The network was built through a combination of federal grants and private investments. The company’s mission is to enhance access for carriers looking to provide quality broadband services to customers in many areas of Maine, including some of the most rural areas of the state, according to its website.


Community Concepts representatives said, “It will take an organized, concerted effort” to create the “last mile” infrastructure that will make the existing fiber optic cable network available to local areas. They hope the public meetings will “help lay the foundation for a grant application aimed at providing funds to expand broadband availability and Internet accessibility.”

According to the release, Oxford County has fewer homes and businesses with internet service than the state and national averages, with download/upload speeds also below average.

For more information, residents may call Purcell at 207-739-6543 or email her at A Facebook page has also been set up at

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