Rockport, ME

rockportmayorTown Manager Rick Bates

On Rockport: “Rockport has one of the prettiest harbors, village and rural countryside on the east coast. But with inferior broadband, the sharpest and most innovative entrepreneurs in the world will certainly vacation in Rockport and really enjoy the harbor and views —- but they couldn’t live here and they couldn’t start businesses here. They are all about connectivity and place. Now – with ultra-fast Internet access — they can have both.”

On Next Century Cities:  “The idea of cities and towns working in collaboration to solve mutual challenges of providing residents and businesses with fair and uniform access to the internet is one that has been needed for a long time and one that I did not think was possible until now. There is immense value from working together and learning from others who have similar views. There is no reason that we should have to reinvent the wheel, the best way is to see what works and adapt!”

What Rockport is working on: Our project, here in Rockport, is admittedly quite small at the moment. It is just over a mile of fiber with 70 potential users; however the opportunity this initiative has created is huge.

This was purely an economic development project to start with and driven largely by the desires of Maine Media College’s need for faster internet speeds, as well as to make Rockport’s small downtown village more viable. There are several buildings in the Village that are underutilized to some degree, and several new buildings that are ready to be rebuilt, all with a spectacular view of Rockport Harbor as a backdrop.

Our project was the result of a public private partnership involving the College, Maine Research and Education Network, the Town of Rockport and GWI, a local internet service provider. The Town utilized funds from Maine REN and Tax Increment Financing to construct the 1.2 miles of “dark fiber” that will be owned by the Town and used by several ISP providers.

It is our belief by providing gigabit internet speeds; in a place as beautiful as Rockport, we will encourage business growth in not only Rockport but the surrounding communities as it will act as a catalyst for other communities to do the same.