BRUNSWICK, Maine (NEWS CENTER) - It's called the Three Ring Binder project and it's being hailed by business and government leaders as a major economic development engine.
The fiber optic cables are connected by more than 30,000 telephone poles. In all they stretch 1,100 miles, running through one hundred communities, making it one of the strongest fiber optic backbones in the country.
With the lines up and running businesses can tap into this network by leasing space on it. Some internet service providers have already signed on. They will be able to offer high speed internet to rural places that have never had it before because it was too expensive to do.
"Having access to the Three Ring Binder allows us to reduce our costs for transport and get into places where customers had never even considered their ability to get broadband because they live so far out", said Tim McAfee of Northern Maine based Pioneer Broadband.
The project was designed to make the network available to all qualified users, with the same rates for all customers. 12 users are on it now, 29 others are now actively considering joining it.