LCI awarded $3.2 mil Federal NTIA Broadband Grant

March 4, 2022

After a highly competitive process, the U.S. Department of Commerce/NTIA announced that LCI Fiber Optic Networks will receive a major federal grant to build out a fiber optic broadband network to over 600 unserved homes in Jefferson, Maine. LCI partnered with the ConnectME Authority and the Governor’s Office to apply for this highly competitive national grant. More than 230 applications were submitted to the US Department of Commerce/NTIA. The $28 million dollar grant secured by the State of Maine is one of only 13 grants awarded nationwide.

The LCI portion of the federal grant award is approx. $3.2 mil., which will build out 57 miles of new fiber to provide high speed broadband to 625 homes in the most rural parts of Jefferson. LCI has been working with the Jefferson Broadband Committee and Town officials for well over a year to collect data and develop plans for building out fiber optic broadband in the unserved areas of the town. LCI already has distribution fiber lines in place in parts of Jefferson and also has major transmission fiber lines passing directly through the center of Jefferson in route to serve LCI/Tidewater customers in Union, Maine and beyond. The long-term plan is for LCI to work closely with the Town to eventually secure the funding needed to build out a 100% FTTH (Fiber To The Home) network for all households in Jefferson.

Shirley Manning, Owner and President of LCI Fiber Optic Network said, “We are pleased and honored to be awarded the NTIA grant to build out fiber optic broadband to over 600 unserved homes in Jefferson, Maine. This federal grant, when combined with our own substantial capital investment, will allow LCI to provide high speed fiber optic broadband to one of the most rural parts of Midcoast Maine.”

LCI’s goal is simple – to provide 100% fiber to the home service to as many unserved and underserved homes in Maine, as quickly as possible. Manning noted, “With the strong leadership of Governor Mills, the technical guidance from the ConnectME Authority, and our new partnership with the US Department of Commerce/NTIA, we now move one step closer to achieving that goal.”

When the project is completed, the LCI/Tidewater fiber optic network footprint will have expanded significantly in the Midcoast region. ”But more importantly,” Manning added, “we will have made the best high speed fiber optic broadband available to over 600 currently unserved households. A true Win – Win.”

Jefferson Fiber Optic Broadband Project Summary:
• Total project cost: $3,540,273
• Grant Amount: $3,186,245
• LCI Matching funds: $ 354,028 (10%)
• 625 Unserved locations to be covered
• A 10 Gig XGS-PON fiber optic network with be deployed over 57 miles of fiber build
• 100 x 100 Mbps min. build standard available at each location
• Up to 1 Gig capacity available at each location
• The network will be fed by LCI’s triple-leg redundant internet sourcing (NYC, Boston & Halifax)
on its fully owned and maintained fiber optic transmission backbone.
• One new CO facility will be constructed to serve as the distribution hub for this project.
Who is LCI/Tidewater Telecom?:

LCI/Tidewater Telecom is a locally owned Maine business. LCI/Tidewater is a division of the LTC Family of Companies, which also includes the Lincolnville Telephone Company. Founded in 1904, LTC has been serving the telecommunication needs in the Maine for over 100 years. Shirley Manning is President and owner and proud that her family-owned Maine business is a recipient of a Governor’s Award for Business Excellence.
Now with approximately 50 employees, LCI/Tidewater Telecom operates out of its state-of-the-art Network Operations Center in Nobleboro, Maine. The secure servers, data center, digital switching hub, engineering department, network monitoring services, technical support division, installation crews, and customer service center are all located in the Midcoast facility. They also maintain a facility in Lincolnville to serve the greater
Lincolnville, Hope, Appleton, Union, Camden, Rockport, Northport and Belfast area.

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Header Photo: Aidan Kaczynski of AKZ Photography

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Copyright 2022. Penobscot Bay Regional Chamber of Commerce All rights reserved.