FairPoint upgrades 11 COs in Maine

FairPoint Communications (Nasdaq: FRP) on Wednesday announced that it would expand the broadband speeds of 11 of its central offices (COs) in its Maine territory.

The service provider said in a Portland Herald Press article that Maine Public Utilities approved its plan to invest about $450,000 to install new equipment (i.e., DSLAMs and Ethernet switches) in each of those COs.

Among the communities served by this new upgrade are Bowdoinham, Corinth, Dexter, Mechanic Falls, Monroe, Searsport, Sullivan, Vinalhaven, Washburn, Wilton and Woodland. It plans to begin these upgrades soon with plans to complete them by the end of 2012.

Although it did not specify the kinds of speeds it will offer, the telco did say that it will deploy Ethernet equipment in the 11 communities.

Broadband expansion in its Northern New England territory has been a continual process for the ILEC. In recent months it has been making various broadband network upgrades in both New Hampshire and Vermont. Part of the Vermont upgrade includes a $2 million grant from the FCC's Connect America Fund.

As for Maine, FairPoint won a victory in April when Maine regulators made a long overdue update to the state's 100 year old telecom regulations. Maine's update came after regulators made the same move in New Hampshire and Vermont.

While it won't report its Q3 2012 earnings until Oct. 29, in Q2 broadband subscribers grew 5.1 percent sequentially over Q1 2012 amidst ongoing landline voice losses.

For more:
- Portland Press Herald via AP has this article

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FairPoint gets $2M CAF grant to extend broadband service in Vermont