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Telecommunications: Helping a Dark Fiber Provider Bring High-Speed Broadband to Rural Maine

Many of Maine’s rural areas do not have adequate access to high-speed broadband services. In 2008-09, a group of Internet providers and CLECs joined with state officials to map out a plan to install 1110 miles of high capacity dark fiber in three rings across rural Maine – known as “Three Ring Binder.” The project required a substantial grant under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and a private match. Verrill joined the team in 2009 and advised the lead applicant regarding government and public outreach as well as communications with other businesses and telecommunications providers in Maine.

In late 2009, US Commerce Secretary Gary Locke flew to Maine to announce a $25 million ARRA grant from the National Telecommunications Information Agency, the first such award in the country. A major success for Maine.

In 2010, we helped pass necessary legislation to create a new telecommunications entity in Maine, a “Dark Fiber Provider,” which was necessary to allow the new venture to attach their fiber to utility poles in the public right of way. The legislation was bitterly opposed by competitors and their unions, but was ultimately passed after months of negotiations with stakeholders, the Governor’s office, the US Department of Commerce, and a range of state agencies. Once passed, we assisted the new Dark Fiber Provider obtain a certificate to do business from the Maine PUC and work with pole owners in Maine to obtain reasonable access to their facilities.

In 2011, a US Chamber of Commerce study listed Maine as the top infrastructure state in the nation, in large part because of the establishment of the Three Ring Binder. And businesses in rural parts of Maine are increasingly seeing the benefits of middle-mile fiber.

Verrill’s Telecommunications Group, and its Government and Public Relations team, are proud to have had a part in helping rural Mainers get high-speed access to the Internet, and to help Maine grow.

Firm Highlights

Blog

Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation 2020 Year-End Client Advisory

News

Verrill Trial Attorneys Once Again Recognized as “Local Litigation Stars” in Benchmark Litigation 2021 Edition

(January 14, 2020) – Eight Verrill attorneys have again been recognized for their litigation skills in Benchmark Litigation’s 2021 edition. In addition to the firm’s eight individual rankings, both Karen Frink Wolf and Martha...

Matter

Swift Current Energy

Verrill represents the 100-megawatt Three Rivers Solar Project in Hancock County, Maine. Verrill assists the project with real estate and environmental permitting work, including negotiation of a protocol to allow the project to proceed...

Event

Intellectual Property: 2020 SCOTUS Decisions and Other Landmark Cases

On January 19, intellectual property attorney Travis Waller will be presenting on a panel for the Connecticut Bar Association Intellectual Property Section's "Intellectual Property: 2020 SCOTUS Decisions and Other Landmark Cases" event. The panel...

Publication/Podcast

Finding Teeth in Massachusetts' Prompt Payment Act

In Tocci v. IRIV Partners, LLC, Boston Harbor Industrial Development LLC and Hudson Insurance Co. (November 19, 2020, Sup. Ct. 19-405), the Massachusetts Superior Court granted summary judgment on a contractor’s breach of contract...

Matter

Longroad Energy

Verrill represents Longroad Energy (“Longroad”) on its renewable energy work in Maine. Longroad is a Boston, MA-headquartered renewable energy company that develops and operates wind and solar energy projects throughout North America. Verrill has...

News

Verrill Welcomes Labor and Employment Attorney Emily Coombs

(January 13, 2021) – Verrill is pleased to welcome attorney Emily Coombs to the firm as a member of the Employment & Labor Group, resident in the firm’s Portland, Maine office. Coombs draws on...

Publication/Podcast

The Regulatory Sprint is Over - What’s at the Finish Line Under the New Stark and AKS Final Rules?

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) completed its “Regulatory Sprint” by finalizing changes to regulations pertaining to two federal fraud and abuse laws. On December 2, 2020, the Centers for Medicare...

Blog

Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 Includes Flexible Spending Account Relief

The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 (the “Act”) was signed into law on December 27, 2020. Buried within its 5,593 pages is some welcome flexibility relating to 2020 and 2021 health care and dependent...

Event

2021 Employment Law Annual Update Series

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