Maine’s low overall population density, geographic breadth and lack of a ‘NFL’ size city has kept large internet providers from establishing points of presence (PoPs) within the state. As a result, Maine carriers, cable companies and ISPs have sourced bulk broadband connections in New York and Boston and then paid to carry that bandwidth to their respective networks in state. Fortunately, a few of the newer, more nimble carriers at the core of the internet are employing a more aggressive business model to justify PoPs in smaller states and cities. This is the case with Hurricane Electric, whose expansion in into Portland will finally make reliable bulk internet service available at NFL city rates in state.
Hurricane Electric’s nationally competitive rates for services delivered in Portland will be a boon to those ISPs that have been paying inflated IP and/or transport rates. Whether these rates ‘trickle down’ and result in reduced internet/broadband charges for businesses and residences in the state will depend on your ISP, and our old friend competition. Initially, the users most likely to see a direct benefit from Hurricane’s presence are large enterprise businesses, technology heavy internet-based companies and large public-sector organizations for whom several local providers will compete. Over time, we can hope that further investment in last-mile technologies will mean ISPs compete to provide internet services for small and mid-size businesses, and perhaps even residential service.