2014-12-19 / Community

Upgrades planned for fiber optics

After nearly ending its 4-year-old association with the Sanford Regional Communication Center this past May over communication issues, Kennebunk now plans to upgrade to a fiber optic connection between the town and the emergency dispatch complex. That change may also boost the town hall’s connection to the Internet from 20 to 100 megabits.

When Kennebunk first hooked up to the Sanford RCC, it used a microwave connection, which, even at $100,000, was cheaper than a fiber optic landline. However, the latest proposal from Fairpoint Communications pegs the cost at $1,228 per month, split equally between Kennebunk and York County.

According to Kennebunk Finance Director Joel Downs, the town has in its communications budget the $3,700 needed to do the hook-up for the balance of the current year. The full-year cost of $7,370 would have to be added to the FY16 budget. Fairpoint, which Downs says is “dangling a couple of carrots” at the town, has offered to absorb the $16,100 cost of installation for the new lines. Downs said the town would keep the current microwave connection as a backup to the fiber optic line.

“To me, this is inexpensive for a solid connection,” said Downs. “The microwave is good; this will be better.”

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