letter to the editor

The right solution for Southport

Mon, 06/06/2022 - 3:15pm

Dear Editor:

Fiber broadband is the right solution for Southport from a technical and forward-looking perspective. The number of subscribers will determine whether it also makes financial sense.

Several cable broadband alternatives like 5G and StarLink are often hyped as “coming soon” or “just as fast.” In practice, StarLink is at least 50% more expensive and less performant than even Spectrum cable. 5G is something of a marketing term covering several wireless schemes, but the touted high speed flavor actually requires – guess what? – a fiber connection every 1,000 feet.

The reality is that fiber remains the undisputed best broadband solution from a technical perspective. On this point, Mr. Myette and I agree, so I will simply quote points he makes in his white paper on the subject (“Increasing Broadband Access in Boothbay; Business Analysis and Recommendations”, May 2019): 

-It is a misconception to believe that fiber connections are simply about exponentially faster speeds.

-All new builds should require looped fiber standard, and, the town should look at current wired connections as a liability to their broadband needs. 


Large current providers’ legacy technology is both a strategic advantage, and a consumer disadvantage since without options they are reluctant to upgrade residential connections to fiber. 

Translation: don’t hold your breath waiting for a Spectrum upgrade. 

Local competitors offer more attention and reasonable pricing because they do business in our back yard. And Axiom is just such a local Maine company. 

The technology is ready. The real question for Southport comes down to the price tag, and in fairness, the petitioners have a valid point. Without 300+ subscribers, the town will be on the hook to come up with money to pay for the infrastructure. 

We are almost halfway to this threshold. I have personally spoken with a number of potential subscribers who have expressed interest in the service, but signing-up has simply not been on their winter to-do list.   

Bottom line, if you think having fast, reliable, and affordable broadband service will make our community better, please call and sign up today. If you are a summer resident and can’t vote on the ballot initiatives themselves, signing up is how you can make your voice heard.  

Geoff Chatterton