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March 17, 2017

Cranberry Isles to build high-speed internet

Cranberry Isles voters on March 11 approved a plan to borrow up to $1.2 million to upgrade their internet network.

The Working Waterfront reported that Axiom Technologies of Machias is expected to be contracted as the provider. The network will serve three of the municipality's five islands: Great Cranberry Island, Islesford and Sutton Island.

A town task force, in a letter to residents, wrote that reliable services, including broadband, are essential for maintaining a year-round community, for educational purposes, telecommuters, and small businesses, town government, health care, and fire and rescue services, the WW reported.

"Our geographic remoteness does not mean we need broadband less than do our mainland neighbors," the letter said. "We need it more, simply because we have reached a point at which people cannot live in this beautiful, remote location without it."

Malcolm Fernald, a town selectman who headed up a task force that studied the feasibility of bringing broadband to the islands, expects the contract with Axiom to be signed in April.

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