Risk & Business Magazine F.A. Peabody Insurance Magazine Fall 2017 - Page 31

TV market. An upgrade to this system required fiber-optic technology, and Sherman became the first community to have Gigabit Internet available as a standard package. Soon after, a huge investment was made in fiber-to-the- home (FTTH) technology to the rest of the network, and by 2016, Pioneer Broadband (PBB) built a fiber network that effectively served every home and business in the town of Houlton. Today, PBB has fifty-eight miles of fiber lines in Houlton, offers seventy cable TV channels in Sherman and Houlton, and has affordable packages for fiber Internet and local and long-distance phone services. Tim McAfee states, “This puts Houlton (and Sherman) in a place not held by many communities. It is the only town in Maine able to claim that practically all its consumers have access to affordable and reliable fiber-optic service. It is also one of the only towns in the state of Maine to have two competitive, franchised, CATV providers.” The project in Houlton has been so successful that other towns have noticed and have hired PBB to design their own municipal networks as they seek funding to build these networks in their communities. Tim offers consulting services to several other Internet service providers in Northern Maine in an effort to continue to reach underserved communities. PBB employs sixteen people, and its network now reaches from Calais to Fort Kent and serves over four thousand customers. Its original goal to “cross the digital divide” has proven successful and serves as a reminder to not rest easy on success for long, because what is high- speed today is painfully slow tomorrow. + PIONEER TIMELINE 2001 INCEPTION OF WIRELESS NETWORK 2002 FIRST WIRELESS CUSTOMER 2003 PARTNERSHIP WITH POLARIS CABLE 2003-2004 WI-FI PROVIDER FOR PHISH CONCERTS IN LIMESTONE, ME AND COVENTRY, VT 2006 ACQUISITION OF CCP WIRELESS, MFX, AROOSTOOK INTERNET & WWSISP 2007 WINNER OF 1ST OF 40 CONNECT ME BROADBAND GRANTS WITH UPWARDS OF $1.4M IN GRANTS 2007 FIRST PIONEER REMOTE TERMINAL DSL IN LINNEUS AND NEW LIMERICK, MAINE 2008 APPROVED AS A COMPETITIVE LOCAL EXCHANGE CARRIER (CLEC) 2008 REBRANDING FROM PIONEER WIRELESS TO PIONEER BROADBAND 2010 CONNECTED FIBER INTERNATIONALLY TO BELL ALIANT, THE CANADIAN TELCO 2011 ACQUIRED SHERMAN CABLE TV SYSTEM 2012 BUILT FTTH IN ORIENT, MAINE 2015 UPGRADED SHERMAN CABLE WITH FIBER OPTICS 2016 COMPLETE BUILDOUT OF FTTH IN HOULTON, MAINE 2017 PBB APPROVED AS CABLE TV PROVIDER IN HOULTON, MAINE Tower Groundbreaking 2001 WWW.PIONEERBROADBAND.NET 31