Maine’s Redzone Wireless, a local broadband provider is putting $1 million behind a public/private partnership that will support local municipal broadband networks in Maine.
Redzone’s “Fast for 5” program will provide 100% funded community wireless broadband systems, completely designed, constructed, and managed by Redzone Wireless, in exchange for the local community guaranteeing a minimum level of broadband services for a 5-year term.
Redzone’s program will come alongside the federal ConnectME Authority Broadband Grant program, as well as other Federal & State program supporting rural broadband development. Communities which apply and receive public grant funding may also qualify to participate in Redzone’s new broadband funding program.
“While Redzone has been primarily focused on building fixed wireless broadband networks across Maine through private investments, we have received dozens of requests for financial assistance in expanding high speed Internet access locally from rural Maine communities over the last 12 months,” said Michael Forcillo, Redzone Vice President said of the funding project.
The move by Redzone to focus on municipal broadband in areas that are rural and less densely populated is a stark departure from the business practices of larger providers like Verizon, AT&T and Comcast, which have stepped back from network expansion into rural areas. The company has also said it will be focused on keeping the new services affordable.
In addition to new network funding the company has also expanded its 4G LTE Advanced wireless broadband network. The network expansion will go throughout the Bangor, Maine region and was privately funded.