Arctaris will build a fiber broadband network in 5 underserved communities in Maine; Expanded National Digital Impact Platform Key Program

In partnership with municipal authorities, foundations and public broadband services, Arctaris aims to increase access to affordable high-speed Internet in rural and urban markets

BOSTON, February 03, 2022–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Arctaris Impact Investors, LLC (“Arctaris”) Announces Plans to Build New Fiber Optic Broadband Networks in Economically Distressed Areas, Including Areas of Opportunity, Throughout Maine . The network will span South Portland, Belfast, Millinocket, East Millinocket and Medway and pass through approximately 12,000 residential and commercial premises, providing these underserved urban, suburban and rural communities with access to affordable, inclusive and high-speed broadband. debit.

Arctaris will build and own the networks, and partner with Great Works Internet (“GWI”) to provide Internet services to end users. GWI is the first fiber optic internet service provider in Maine and the first internet service provider in the state to be certified as a B Corp. to meet higher standards of transparency, accountability and performance. The program is also made possible through a partnership with the Finance Authority of Maine (“FAME”), which provides 20% leveraged loan insurance and other assistance to Arctaris due to the positive impact these networks will have on the communities concerned.

“Ensuring Maine residents and businesses have access to affordable, high-speed broadband is vital to our state’s economic recovery and future prosperity, which is why my administration has made it a priority to improving connectivity in Maine,” Governor Janet Mills said. “Public-private partnerships like these help move these efforts forward, and I applaud GWI, Arctaris and FAME for working together to expand access to low-cost broadband, especially in the Katahdin region. “

“We are thrilled that Arctaris, in partnership with GWI, has answered our call to build and deliver fiber broadband to 100% of our three communities,” said Kyle Leathers, Chairman of Katahdin’s Board of Directors. Broadband. “We look forward to partnering with them to provide affordable high-speed Internet access to support economic growth, increase educational resources and expand opportunities in the Katahdin region.”

The gap in available resources and opportunities between residents with broadband access and those without has been widening for years. However, the pandemic has placed greater emphasis on these inequalities, highlighting the need for online education, remote work and telehealth medical services. The demand is so great that many states plan to use their American Rescue Plan Act funds for broadband infrastructure projects, including improvements in connectivity, devices and digital literacy for residents.

“Now, more than ever, equitable access to affordable high-speed Internet is critical to the economic viability of cities and states across our nation,” said Neil Katz, CEO of Arctaris. “By building fibre-based broadband networks, we are developing the infrastructure needed to bridge the digital divide in economically disadvantaged areas, which we hope these communities will benefit from for decades to come.”

Arctaris is addressing similar challenges in Colorado, in partnership with the Colorado Health Foundation, where it has committed $50 million to expand broadband access to 25,000 households and businesses, improve access to telehealth services for residents and strengthen digital equity across the state.

“As we work together to implement a broadband solution, we must be careful not to create a one-size-fits-all approach,” said Jonathan Tower, Founder and Managing Partner of Arctaris. “Urban and rural communities are impacted by the inability to access affordable, high-speed broadband. Arctaris and our partners are committed to working with foundations, state officials, and local governments to find the right solution that meets their unique broadband needs, and we plan to replicate our model in other locations nationwide.”

Through a national digital impact platform and key public-private partnerships, Arctaris is committed to fostering equitable broadband access for economically challenged communities across the country, especially those located in areas of opportunity. .

About Arctaris Impact Investors

Arctaris Impact Investors, LLC is a Boston-based impact investment firm with over 12 years’ experience and six funds, with debt and equity investments in the Opportunity Zone. The company manages funds that invest in growth-oriented operating businesses and community infrastructure projects located in underserved communities. Founded in 2009, Arctaris has partnered with the Kresge Foundation, Harvard Business School’s Professor Michael Porter’s Initiative for a Competitive Downtown, and several other foundations, federal and state government agencies to invest in urban areas. opportunity, downtowns and targeted rural communities across the United States. , with the aim of generating above-market returns on investment while having a positive social impact.

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About Katahdin Broadband

Katahdin Broadband was established in 2018 as a utility district comprising the towns of Millinocket, East Millinocket and Medway. The utility board is made up of two representatives from each city, as well as a trustee representing the local nonprofit Our Katahdin. Katahdin Broadband works closely with Casco Bay Advisors and Dan Pittman (Eaton Peabody) to achieve the goals of fairness, reliability and affordability of broadband service across all three communities.

Legal disclaimer

Certain information contained in this press release constitutes forward-looking statements. These statements reflect the terms in effect and our best business judgment as of the date of publication. Accordingly, actual results may differ from projections and should not be relied upon as investment advice.

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Jane Moncrief
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