Fiber internet will soon be available for some Falmouth residents via Consolidated Communications, a broadband provider that’s already begun installing equipment.
According to Town Manager Nathan Poore, the installation is being carried out in phases, and “the first phase is significant and includes much of the community east of Town Hall.” Residents in that area will be able to access the service as early as September.
The latest fiber internet will be available to all residents is 2025, but the company hopes the work is completed before then.
Fiber internet uses fiber-optic cables that allow for higher internet speeds than cable.
Customers can stream on multiple devices over a fiber internet service, according to Consolidated Communications Senior Director of Government Affairs Sarah Davis.
“The kids can be on Netflix upstairs, you can be on your Peloton, someone else can be on a Zoom call, so it allows almost an infinite number of users to be on a system at the same time without getting what’s referred to as the ‘spinning wheel,’” Davis said.
The service is faster because the upload and download speeds are the same, she said.
Consolidated already offers fiber internet in Portland, Rockland, parts of Bangor and Long Island. Davis said bringing fiber to Falmouth is part of a larger goal to bring the service to the greater Portland area, where the company feels there is a strong desire for faster internet.
Fiber internet is also available through Otelco in Westbrook, Gorham, Buxton and Windham, and through GWI in South Portland.
Residents will see Consolidated’s trucks around town, Davis said, but construction “shouldn’t hinder day-to-day activities” because the fiber is being installed on cables that are already in place.
Pricing ranges from $30-$75 per month, depending on the plan. Davis said low-income customers can get a $30 discount through the Affordable Connectivity Program through the Federal Communications Commission. More on the program and the eligibility requirements can be found at fcc.gov/acp.
More information on fiber internet and to see when it will be available in specific areas can be found at fidiumfiber.com.
“Fiber is the best available technology for delivering all of the data needs for customers,” Davis said. “For any customer, whether they’re working from home, trying to educate their children, telehealth visits, fiber will provide the most reliable platform to do that.”