Chip Hanson, a splice service technician for Fidium Fiber, splices fiber Monday in Kennebunk. Fidium Fiber photo

LEWISTON — Fidium Fiber’s expansion in Maine will now include Lewiston and Auburn in 2023.

Sarah Davis is the senior director for government affairs at Consolidated Communications, Fidium Fiber’s parent company. In an interview Monday with the Sun Journal, she said they are finalizing plans internally and hope to reach out to city officials in Lewiston and Auburn shortly to notify them of those plans. They include beginning the local build-out in early 2023 and quickly ramping up to connect about 35,000 homes in the area by the end of next year.

The all fiber-optic service is building out its network and presence in the state, which as of last week includes 41,000 new homes in Augusta, Biddeford, Falmouth, Rockland and Waterville.

Fidium said in a news release last week that construction is underway in Lisbon Falls, where more than 6,000 homes will have access to Fidium in the coming weeks.

In February, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration awarded $18.3 million in grants to the Connect Maine Authority, which will partially fund Consolidated bringing Fidium to more than 22,000 underserved addresses in some of Maine’s most rural areas in Farmington, Rangeley and the Blue Hill Peninsula. Davis said they are waiting on an environmental impact study before they can get started, but they hope to begin the build-out in those three areas within the next 60 to 90 days.

Earlier this year, the company pledged to have service available to 150,000 homes in Maine by year’s end. Davis said they are still on track to deliver on that promise. “We’re more than on target to light all of those up,” she said. Fidium entered the Maine market in 2022.


“Fidium will be Maine’s largest fiber-to-the-home provider, and I’m thrilled to finally bring the Fidium experience here,” said Erik Garr, president of consumer and small business for Consolidated Communications.

Fiber-optic internet service is considered superior for a number of reasons. It is connected with a dedicated service to each home, not a shared service like cable. Fiber-optic delivers a super-fast connection using light signals, which don’t degrade over distance. Security is also enhanced by fiber-optic, which does not radiate its signal the way copper does, making it much more difficult to tap or hack.

A neighborhood level fiber splitter in installed in Kennebunk. Fidium Fiber photo

At the high end, Fidium offers 1-gigabit and 2-gigabit connections, which are symmetrical, meaning the upload and download speeds are the same. Those with multiple people in the household using two or more devices, gaming or doing a lot of video calls will notice a huge difference.

Fidium’s expansion in Maine brings competition, and its current offers are likely to force changes at its competitors. Fidium’s 1-gigabit service is $70 month with free installation, no contracts, no data caps and a free Wi-Fi router.

A similar 1-gigabit offering from Spectrum, which is not fiber-optic, will cost around $95 a month, but depending on what time of day and where a person lives, it delivers much lower upload and download speeds and is not symmetrical. The end result is buffering if you stream video and slower internet service overall.

For the tech nerds, check out a reddit posting of actual speed tests in the Portland area comparing the two offerings.

Fidium also offers 250-mbps internet at $60 a month and 50-mbps service at $35 a month. Add-on services include Voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP, home phone and streaming TV packages available through partner services. Davis said those prices will still be offered to customers in the Lewiston and Auburn area once service becomes available.

Fidium does not require it, but people can go to the company’s website — — look for the service availability box and type in their address. They will get a message that they can pre-order the service. It does not cost, but it will give a leg up on neighbors by letting the company know they are interested in their service. By entering contact information, Fidium will make contact when service becomes available and ask whether the person wants to sign up. It also helps the company to gauge the level of interest in a particular town or city.

“We’re just really excited, we’re excited to be bringing more fiber to Maine,” Davis said. “Lewiston-Auburn is a great, great place in Maine and we’re super excited to get building.”

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