Maine Fiber Co. says middle mile network audit is completed, sees growth in dark fiber leasing

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Maine Fiber Company (MFC), the owner and operator of Maine's "Three Ring Binder" middle mile network, announced that BerryDunn has completed its audit of its Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) grant.

The completion of this audit, which is a major milestone for what has been a somewhat controversial project, has now been forwarded to the Office of the Inspector General (OIG).

When it originally was awarded the grant in 2009, it got $25 million to partially fund the 1,100-mile fiber network, which spans the entire state from Fort Kent to South Berwick. A number of MFC's investors provided $7 million in matching funds.

Over time, MFC built additional dark fiber routes to interconnect Maine with Boston and Canada.

MFC's Vice President of Business Development Jeff McCarthy said that the company "wanted to be sure Maine's newest fiber optic network was interconnected with international fiber networks, opening up better global connectivity options for Maine."

To date, there are already 24 customer agreements in place to lease fiber on the network.

However compelling the completion of the audit is, MFC has come under fire from competitive provider GWI, which claimed in a lawsuit that it did not use federal broadband stimulus properly to address rural broadband needs.

Fletcher Kitteridge, CEO of GWI, said one of its problems with MFC was its decision to bring its network into areas like Boston, which it claims were not part of the initial project scope.

For more:
- see the release

Related articles:
GWI accuses Maine Fiber Co. of misusing federal funds for statewide network
Maine wraps up construction of the Three Ring Binder middle mile network
NextGen Telecom Services to help build Maine Fiber Co.'s Three Ring Binder network
Maine's Three Ring Binder network gets underway
Maine's GWI extends broadband, voice service to Dover-Foxcroft and Calais

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