OTELCO has started to prepare to install high speed fiber for Internet services in Scarborough

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OTELCO has announced the construction of fiber optics at approximately 1,650 locations in Scarborough. The above map shows an approximation of the construction location, highlighted in blue, and is subject to change if field conditions so require when performing final engineering. File photo courtesy of Tracy Scheckel

SCARBOROUGH – Telecommunications company OTELCO said preparations have started to install fiber-optic internet technology for 1,600 Scarborough locations, waiting for service to be ready in early winter 2022.

On September 15, city council members spoke with Tracy Scheckel, director of marketing and public relations for OTELCO, who said the current plan for fiber-optic internet in Scarborough involves installation starting in February of l ‘next year. However, construction delays could occur.

OTELCO plans to offer 150 megabytes, 500 megabytes and one gigabyte of speed to 1,600 locations in Scarborough, Scheckel said.

Fiber internet has less resistance than copper or coaxial cables, making the signal farther away and stronger, she said. Faster speeds have been important for people during the COVID-19 pandemic, with plenty of upload and download information online.

OTELCO recommends that those interested in the services visit the otelco.com/builds website, Scheckel said, to see if their home is included in the planned construction. If the service is not available, she said that OTELCO always recommends people fill out the form.

“If we see an increase in interest in an area that seems to make the numbers work for us, we’ll explore construction there, so tell us you want it and maybe we’ll come,” he said. she declared.

City council and the public should appreciate that OTELCO’s plan is a commercial enterprise, said chief executive Tom Hall.

“They saw an area where there seems to be a business opportunity,” he said. “That’s not to say that there aren’t detailed discussions at the state, county and – I think you can have them at the local level, about expanding broadband ourselves at the. -beyond these investments. All is not lost, and I think a lot of that focus, given a state like Maine, the numbers, financially, just don’t work. There isn’t the density to do a business case, but I think there is a high public policy goal, high here statewide. “

Scheckel told advisers the 1,600 locations were homes or addresses specific to Scarborough. OTELCO has planned constructions until the middle of 2023.

“There is definitely an opportunity for collaboration down the road if the city wants it,” she said.

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