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Experience

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

Matter

2017 Emera Distribution Rate Case

Verrill represented Emera in its 2017 distribution rate case before the Maine PUC, which included: defeating Staff's proposed reduction to allowed return on equity for "management inefficiency;" approval of new expenditures, such as an...

Publication/Podcast

Zoom ADR: Best Practices for Virtually Every Virtual ADR Event

As the post-COVID-19 “new normal” comes into focus, it is unlikely that civil jury trials will happen in many jurisdictions until at least the spring of 2021. For family law matters, cases involving children...

Blog

Action Item & FAQ: New Maine Paid Leave Rules Address Business Concerns

On January 1, 2021, LD 369, An Act Authorizing Earned Employee Leave takes effect for Maine employers. Passed by the Legislature in 2019, Maine employers have been patiently waiting for clarification as to the...

News

Verrill Partner Recognized as a Leading U.S. Bankruptcy and Restructuring Lawyer

(August 25, 2020) – Verrill partner Roger A. Clement, Jr. was recognized in the inaugural 2020 Lawdragon 500 Leading U.S. Bankruptcy and Restructuring Lawyers for excellence in his practice. Lawdragon introduced the first edition...

News

Michael K. Fee to Lead Verrill’s Nationally-Recognized Health Care and Life Sciences Practice Amidst Recent Changes

(August 31, 2020) – Verrill is pleased to announce Michael K. Fee as the new leader of Verrill’s nationally-recognized Health Care & Life Sciences Group. The Group has a long history of representing a...

Blog

Allocation of Medical Loss Ratio Rebates and Premium Refunds

One consequence of the current COVID-19 crisis for group health plans has been the significant reduction in employee preventive care and elective medical procedures as people shelter in place and socially distance. When group...

Matter

Management Audit

Verrill represented Emera in its 2016 distribution rate case before the Maine PUC. The case involved issues relating to significant new capital investments, including Emera's new customer information system and a controversial substation investment...

Event

Employee Non-Competition and Non-Solicitation Restrictions: Traps for the Unwary

On Tuesday, October 6, employment and labor attorneys Tawny Alvarez and Scott Connolly will be presenting with The Middlesex Corporation Vice President and General Counsel Joshua Wernig for Verrill and ACC Northeast's program, Employee...

Publication/Podcast

Domestic Discovery for Foreign Arbitrations? Location, Location, Location!

International transactions can generate international disputes. A party to a lawsuit in one country may believe that a non-party in another country has information that could be put to good use in the case...

Blog

Financial Institutions . . . In the News

The July 2020 U.S. Foreclosure Market Report was released. ( DS News 8.27.2020) Federal Chairman Jerome Powell shows a plan to bolster the economy for the long-term. ( The Hill 8.26.2020) A May report...