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April 24, 2015

Portland firm to expand Down East 4G coverage

Portland-based Wireless Partners LLC said it is planning to expand high-speed cellular and broadband service to underserved Down East areas.

The telecommunications firm on Thursday said the 4G LTE expansion is moving forward after it was recently approved as a Pine Tree Development Zone company by the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development. In addition, the firm recently hired Michael J. Harder, a former Oxford Networks executive, as its new chief financial officer.

Wireless Partners said those two developments are advancing its effort to expand cellular network capabilities in rural eastern Hancock and Washington counties. The project, which is being done in partnership with Verizon Wireless as part of its LTE in Rural America Program, will involve building 32 new sites that will provide 4G LTE coverage.

"The 'cellular and digital divide' is real, and businesses, schools and families living and working in rural Down East Maine can't afford to be on the wrong side of it," Robert J. Parsloe, the firm's president and CEO, said in a prepared statement.

"Additionally, for the first time, Verizon Wireless customers who reside in and travel to Down East Maine will be able to seamlessly take advantage of LTE broadband services just as they are accustomed to elsewhere in the United States," he added. "We're eager to bring a 4G LTE network to this part of Maine and help boost the local economy."

The Pine Tree Development Zone program was set up by the state to support job creation and new business development in selected state regions. It gives multi-year incentives for certified companies to encourage capital investment in new operations and create high-quality jobs.

Read more

Communities in Downeast counties to get high-speed cell service and Internet

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