NEWRY — As the town has continued to grow as a year-round residential community, demand has increased for improved internet service.

Mia Purcell, manager of economic development at Community Concepts, told Newry selectmen Tuesday night about options for expanded broadband service.

Spectrum is the town’s cable-based internet service provider. Parts of the community, however, have little or no internet access.

Newry has a cable franchise agreement with Spectrum, which was renewed a couple of years ago and is good through 2030.

If Newry seeks to expand internet service, Spectrum seeks a customer base of about 20 homes per mile, according to Purcell.

“They are trying to look at the subscription rate of people per mile to determine whether it meets their bottom line,” Purcell said.

“This is a private utility, not a public utility. They are looking to make sure that they make money and can continue.”

Firstlight provides digital subscriber line (DSL) service, but has had issues with reliability and speed, Purcell said.

Purcell said optical fiber is the future because it offers better speed and is more reliable, which would benefit those who work from home.

Purcell said optical fiber can last at least 20 years, while cable and DSL are not as durable. Optical fiber, however, is more expensive.

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