TRANS IN A STATE WHERE BROADBAND IS SPOTTY… A MIDCOAST TOWN IS MAKING HISTORY. ROCKPORT IS NOW HOME TO THE THE FIRST MUNICIPAL- OWNED ULTRA-FAST INTERNET SERVICE. W-M-T-W NEWS 8’S KATIE THOMPSON IS IN ROCKPORT TO TELL US ABOUT THE PROJECT AND WHAT IT MEANS. “Rockport is known for picturesque views like this – and andre the seal of course But now- it’s very own fiber optic internet highway is changing the way businesses view this townand setting the stage for other rural communities seeking to compete in the global market” THERE IS SOMETHING ABOUT OUR BEAUTIFUL STATE OF MAINE THAT MAKES IT SO DIFFERENT FROM THE REST. A PLACE SO SPECIAL, TOPPING THE BUCKET LIST OF MILLIONS OF PEOPLE WHO COME TO VISIT EACH YEAR. BUT VACATIONLAND OFTEN RANKS LAST ON ONE LIST: PLACES WITH AVAILABLE AND QUALITY INTERNET. the state is going to commit economic suicide at this point unless it pays attention to this issue THE TOWN OF ROCKPORT IS CHANGING THAT- WITH THE STATES FIRST TOWN OWNED, FIBER OPTIC INTERNET LINE. “we know it will benefit rockport and we hope that the lessons here can eventually benefit midcoast and the entire state of maine.” THE 75-THOUSAND DOLLAR PROJECTS WAS MADE POSSIBLE THROUGH A PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN THE TOWN, MAINE MEDIA WORKSHOPS AND COLLEGE, NETWORK MAINE AND GREAT WORKS INTERNET. THROUGH GWI, USERS HERE NOW HAVE SPEEDS 500 TIMES FASTER THAN BEFORE. ITS ALSO SYMMETRICAL, WHICH MEANS UPLOAD SPEEDS ARE JUST AS FAST AS DOWNLOADS. theres no single service provider that it was built for its open to anybody to be able to make use of. ROCKPORT’S GOAL IS THAT THIS WILL ATTRACT ENTREPRENUERS TO IT’S ALMOST VACANT DOWNTOWN. “Internet infrastructure is a key part of economic development at this point.” SENATOR ANGUS KING HOPES THE PROJECT CAN SERVE AS A BLUEPRINT FOR OTHER RURAL TOWNS THAT HE SAYS MAY BE DOOMED WITHOUT IT. “Internet service in my opinion is exactly like water its exactly like electricity it is a public utility that is necessary In order for our country and our economy to flourish” the service is available through GWI and costs around 70 dollars a month.