Old Town-Orono Fiber Corporation selected for digital infrastructure pilot program

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The Old Town – Orono Fiber Corporation (OTO Fiber) has been selected by the Post Road Foundation for a study to evaluate the costs and benefits of deploying a fiber optic communications network to homes, businesses and other institutions in Old Town, Orono and nearby communities.

Old Town-Orono is one of only five locales in the nation, and one of three in Maine, to be selected by the Post Road Foundation.

The OTO Fiber study, targeted for completion by September 30, will be used to evaluate means for deploying high-speed internet and intelligent infrastructure in the most effective ways possible for digital inclusion, efficient resource management and economic growth. Funding for the Post Road Foundation program, and related research at Harvard University, has been provided by The Rockefeller Foundation. Belle Ryder, President of OTO Fiber says “OTO Fiber is excited to be selected by Post Road Foundation to explore various financial, structural, and operational models that will enable us to expand our 6-mile pilot project to all of Old Town and Orono. We expect these efforts will identify a public-private partnership model that will allow us to make affordable ultra-high speed broadband available to all our residents.”

Old Town – Orono Fiber Corporation Announces Selection for Pilot Program on Digital Inclusion and Intelligent Infrastructure The Old Town – Orono Fiber Corporation (OTO Fiber) is pleased to announce that it has been selected by the Post Road Foundation for a study to evaluate the costs and benefits of deploying a fiber optic communications network to homes, businesses and other institutions in Old Town, Orono and nearby communities. Old Town – Orono is one of only five communities in the nation, and one of three in Maine, to be selected by the Post Road Foundation. The OTO Fiber study, targeted for completion by September 30, will be used to evaluate means for deploying high-speed internet and intelligent infrastructure in the most effective ways possible for digital inclusion, efficient resource management and economic growth.

“OTO Fiber is excited to be selected by Post Road Foundation to explore various financial, structural, and operational models that will enable us to expand our 6-mile pilot project to all of Old Town and Orono,” said OTO President Belle Ryder. “We expect these efforts will identify a public-private partnership model that will allow us to make affordable ultra-high speed broadband available to all our residents.”

Funding for the Post Road Foundation program, and related research at Harvard University, has been provided by The Rockefeller Foundation.

“We are excited about this significant milestone towards increased digital inclusion in rural communities and are grateful to the communities for taking the journey with the Post Road Foundation,” said Saadia Madsbjerg, Managing Director of The Rockefeller Foundation. “To scale our innovative finance solutions and make them a reality, we need a network of partners willing to push the boundaries and set the example for the rest of the country. We look forward to the next phase of the important work of the Post Road Foundation and Harvard University.”

Senator Angus King applauded the selection of the communities in Maine.

“The announcement by the Post Road Foundation represents a major investment in our state’s future, and reflects the ingenuity, talent, and work ethic that define Maine people,” said Senator King. “In the 21st century economy, nearly every industry, ranging from boatbuilding and manufacturing to technology startups and financial services, relies on the Internet. There is, quite simply, no tool more vital to modern life than high speed Internet – but unfortunately, far too many rural communities are being left behind. These public-private partnerships will build upon efforts to close the digital divide in regions in Maine that are struggling with slow connectivity and advance innovative approaches to deploy smart fiber networks – two important steps that will strengthen Maine’s economy and infrastructure.

“The Post Road Foundation has been an ideal collaborator throughout this process, and their support will open up a new world of possibilities for Maine communities; I can’t wait to see what comes next.” The Post Road Foundation’s non-profit, research platform bridges the gap between communities and investors by exploring ways to reduce barriers to the development, financing, and deployment of sustainable, intelligent infrastructure, particularly in places lacking 21st century communications.