Feb 9, 2023
Direct Communications, Brooks, Waldo awarded $3 million broadband grant
Direct Communications will install Fiber to the Premises, or direct fiber-optic connections, to 837 homes and businesses in these unserved areas.
UNITY — Direct Communications, formerly UniTel, and its municipal partners, the towns of Brooks and Waldo, have been awarded a $3,040,838 Connect the Ready grant for high-speed broadband service by the Maine Connectivity Authority.
The grant was part of $34 million awarded to help fund 12 projects covering 31 communities in nine Maine counties. It is the single largest investment in Maine’s broadband infrastructure to date.
Connect the Ready is a competitive grant program that encourages public/private partnerships and collaboration to build unserved areas. In the Brooks-Waldo project, Direct Communications will install Fiber to the Premises, or direct fiber-optic connections, to 837 homes and businesses in these unserved areas. Direct Communications’ fiber-optic network will be capable of delivering symmetrical service of 1 gigabyte, scalable to multi-gig in the future.
“Direct Communications is eager to bring reliable High-Speed fiber service to the residents and businesses in the towns of Brooks and Waldo,” General Manager Tim May said in a press release. “Partnering with rural communities to help bridge the digital divide has been and will continue to be our focus.”
Business and residential customers will have access to worldclass broadband speeds and data connections for ongoing operations and future growth, the press release said. Local residents will have access to instantaneous HD downloads and broadband support for unlimited household devices.
Brooks Select Board member Linda Lord said in the release, “The town of Brooks is elated to have received a broadband connectivity grant. … Remote learning, telemedicine and connection to the outside world all depend on reliable, affordable broadband service. Without this we would be a black hole in a sea of excellent connectivity.”
A spokesperson for the Waldo Board of Selectmen said, “We are so excited about the next phase and can’t wait to have internet for all who need and want it! We have been working a long time on this endeavor. Looking forward to working with you Direct Communications.”
Direct Communications also will offer its “Upgrade your school program” to residents in Brooks and Waldo. This program gives subscribers to Direct Communications fiber service the opportunity to donate their first month’s payment to the local school of their choice. More than $273,000 has been given to rural schools since the program’s inception.