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May 10, 2023

Reach Me Grant will Help Expand Fiber to Unserved Areas in Six Towns

The Maine Connectivity Authority launches Reach Me Line Extensions.

UNITY — A Reach Me Line Extension grant will help Direct Communications, formerly UniTel, expand high-speed internet to the towns of Burnham, Dixmont, Newburgh, Thorndike, Troy and Unity.

In a May 9 press release, Direct Communications said it will use its existing broadband network to extend high-speed fiber to those towns.

The grant is part of $20 million in grants that Maine Connectivity Authority has awarded to Internet Service Providers to expand high-speed broadband to 73 communities across the state.

The Reach Me program was designed to leverage and optimize existing ISP infrastructure, deploying funding where it is needed most. Maine Connectivity Authority has worked directly with ISPs to identify portions of their existing networks that would benefit from line extensions.

The collaboration among MCA, Direct Communications and the local communities will take Fiber-to-the-Premise broadband to 1,373 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, according to the press release.

“We are excited to partner with the MCA and our local towns to extend broadband services to the most rural parts of the communities we serve,” General Manager Tim May said in the press release.

To support local schools in rural areas, Direct Communications offers an “Upgrade Your School Program” to residents in all the communities it serves. The Upgrade Your School program allows new and upgrading customers to select the school district they wish to receive their first month’s payment. Since the inception of the program in 2019, Direct Communications has donated more than $297,000 to schools in its service areas.

Direct Communications formerly, UniTel, was established in 1902. Since then, the company has been serving customers in Albion, Dixmont, Knox, Newburgh, Thorndike, Troy, Unity and surrounding areas. Direct Communications offers high-speed broadband for both residential and business customers with speeds up to 1GB.

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