As seen in the March 12, 2012 COMPTEL Connection
Maine Fiber Company, Inc.
Headquarters Location: Portland, Maine
Q: What does your company do and how long has it been in operation?
A: Formed in 2009, Maine Fiber Company (MFC) leases dark fiber to service providers, carriers, integrators, government and large commercial customers with access or transit requirements in or through the state of Maine. MFC was formed to oversee the construction, leasing and commercial operation of an 1,100-mile open-access fiber optic network, which is configured in three rings. The network is funded by a combination of a federal grant and private investment, and is expected to complete in 2012.
Q: To what do you attribute your company’s success in the communications industry?
A: For the last several years, construction of fiber optic infrastructure, especially in more rural areas of the United States, has been gated by aggressive rate of return requirements, leaving some customers and geographic regions unserved. As a recipient of BTOP funding, MFC is making highly reliable middle-mile fiber optic transport available on an open-access, non-discriminatory basis at reasonable rates. Our carrier customers are taking advantage of the MFC fiber infrastructure to address the pent-up demand for bandwidth, reliability and security.
Q: What have been the biggest obstacles your company has faced in the marketplace?
A: The introduction of stimulus-funded, middle-mile fiber optic networks has disrupted the traditional organic network growth models embraced by service providers over the past several years. In many cases, the service provider’s challenge is simply modifying the business plan to take full advantage of long term fiber leasing versus undertaking their own capital-intensive fiber construction. MFC’s challenge is educating a wide range of potential customers on the benefits, reach, and long term viability of this newly available fiber infrastructure.
Q: What do you see as your greatest challenges going forward?
A: In the short term the largest challenge is completing construction of the 1,100 mile, three-ring fiber network, which is targeted for Q4 2012. In conjunction with this, we are standing up the operations, including fiber asset management software, inventory and billing systems. Once the core network is in place, the challenges will shift to support for our customer’s needs, with a continued focus on reliability, performance, scalability and security.
Q: What have been some of your company’s most recent achievements (new customer wins, new service/product deployment, etc.)?
A: MFC is currently one of the highest-performing BTOP recipients in the U.S. As a Round One BTOP recipient, MFC was able to engage talented partners to manage, engineer and construct the fiber network in Maine. As a result we completed over 500 route miles (76,000 strand miles) in 2011, and expect to complete the 1,100 mile build by Q4 2012. Careful management of costs has allowed us to also deploy carrier-neutral ReGen sites and reach valuable assets along our routes.
Q: Why is it important for your company to be a COMPTEL member?
A: Being a COMPTEL member will help MFC gain visibility on a national level, and ensure that we remain in contact with carriers, service providers and optronics suppliers that can take full advantage of our fiber optic infrastructure.