GWI gets $9M in grant funding for high-speed internet in three towns

GWI was awarded more than $9 million in grant funding from the ConnectME Authority to build high-speed internet networks in Hebron, Sumner and Northport. 

The company was one of a handful of applicants to receive grants from the ConnectME Authority, Maine’s agency for the promotion of broadband, in the most recent round of funding. 

The grant funding will allow GWI to build nearly universal service to three municipalities that are in need of fast, reliable internet infrastructure. Some neighboring towns will also reap the benefits of the network construction, though they were not directly involved in the project.

The grant award will be coupled with contributions from all three of the towns as well as GWI’s private investment to construct networks that will cover over 200 route miles and pass roughly 2,000 potential customers.  

“We are enormously proud of receiving the grant award from ConnectMaine and are incredibly excited to fulfill our obligations to bring gigabit fiber optic infrastructure and service to the communities,” said Kerem Durdag, GWI president and chief operating officer. 

“We believe internet access and affordability is a human right and as such, as a B Corp certified company, continue our work endlessly to ensure the future generations of Maine have one of the elemental building blocks of civilization at hand,” Durdag said.

GWI is currently working with the ConnectME Authority on the details of the grant and is expecting to have an updated timeline for project’s start and associated construction and service availability milestones soon.

Biddeford-based GWI is a B Corp, which is a for-profit company that meets certain requirements for social and environmental performance and accountability.

The ConnectME Authority was created by the Maine Legislature in 2006 to develop a secure, reliable and competitive broadband infrastructure and to make broadband service universally available in the state. The authority is funded by a small assessment on landlines and broadband services to customers in Maine.

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