Internet Service in Old Town & Orono Expected to Get 50-100x Faster

By Caroline Connolly | WABI-TV | May 2, 2012

It’s been awhile since most people have heard the sound of their phone calling up the internet, only to wait for that automated, “You’ve got mail.”

But even with the faster service options today, people like Fletcher Kittredge will tell you we’re still not keeping up with the pace of new technology.

“When my kids come home from college, I have the fastest broadband available where we live, but it’s really a train wreck and everybody is saying, ‘Are you on the internet?'” said Kittredge.

That’s why his telecom company, GWI, teamed up with the University of Maine and national group, Gig.U, to unveil a high speed service in Old Town and Orono.

“It’ll be 50 to 100 times faster than current broadband,” said Kittredge.

It’s called the Gigabit Main Street Network.

“The speeds are symmetric, which means you can send and receive at the same speed and that’s really important for people who do things like Skype or video conferencing or upload videos to YouTube,” said Kittredge.

Key, in fact, for business owners like Brian Rahill who runs a website and software company in Orono.

“Everyone is familiar with Skyping someone and their mouth is moving and not hearing the audio, or hearing the audio and not seeing them. Now, we’re really able to collaborate and communicate in real time at the speed of light,” said Rahill.

Kittredge hopes word of the service will spread quickly to other businesses, changing not only the speed at which we connect, but the pace of business in eastern Maine.

“Professional people, who have this sort of access, they can live and work here, where now they’re tied to a city. And it doesn’t take very many of those people moving to an area to really lift up the economy,” said Kittredge.

The service will be available to some areas around UMaine this fall, but will be running at full speed by 2013.

To read the full article from WABI-TV, click here.

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