Frequently Asked Questions about Fiber Optic Services

The network is up and running for Calais & Baileyville! For internet, tv or phone service go to


“If I subscribe to the new fiber optic service, what will my monthly cost be?”

  • Your costs will be dependent upon two things:  the number of services that you sign up for (Internet, television, home security, etc.) and the rates charged by your provider.  Our system will be open access.  This will allow for multiple providers to use the new network, which in turn, will stimulate competitive pricing.  The consumer will be able to shop around for the best prices and services. If you were to compare only basic Internet service, prices may be slightly higher for fiber optic broadband, but speeds and reliability would be greater than cable or DSL.  

“Will I still be able to watch my local news and sports teams with this new service?”

  • Absolutely.  You can stay with your satellite or cable television provider, keeping the same services and still sign up for fiber optic broadband for Internet service.  In fact, because there will be multiple providers servicing our area, you will actually have a choice among cable television providers and competitive pricing is good for the consumer.  As of now, there are only two communities in Maine that can boast competition among cable TV providers (Houlton and Hodgdon) – when our project is completed – there will be 4 in the State!

“I’ll never need that much bandwidth – why should I switch to the fiber network?”

  • There are several reasons why fiber is a better option than DSL or cable:
  1. Fiber is more secure, more reliable and faster than cable or DSL.  Your download and upload speeds will be symmetrical. You can watch movies, concerts, sporting events, download files of any size, upload photo albums and much more without any buffering.  Multiple devices can be used simultaneously – all streaming different content.  Your children, grandchildren, houseguests, etc. will be grateful and happy!
  2. Fiber optic technology is an integral part of telemedicine practices.  Home-based healthcare (also known as in-place aging) is dependent upon high-speed, reliable Internet.
  3. State of the Art broadband is vital for economic development – allowing rural communities to stay vibrant and competitive.   The attraction of new employers, families, Gen-Xers and the millennial generation will be difficult, if not impossible, without high speed Internet as a part of our infrastructure.  It is no longer a matter of “it would be nice to have,” but rather a service that is demanded by those looking to relocate.
  4. Fiber optic Internet adds to the value of your home or other properties.
  5. Education is global – we want our students to have the same access to knowledge as students around the globe.
  6. Smart Cities/Smart Farms/Intelligent Infrastructure are all terms that are coming to the forefront of conversations that deal with the efficient use of energy, related costs and environmental impact.  These conversations are meaningless without that “strand of fiber” that will allow for communication and integration – intelligent infrastructure.

“If I switch to fiber, will I have to get a new email address?”

  • This will depend upon your provider and which piece of infrastructure is being accessed – fiber, cable or DSL (copper).  For example, let’s say your current provider is Consolidated Communications (formerly Fairpoint). If you request fiber for Internet connectivity and Consolidated chooses to use Downeast Broadband’s fiber to provide service, then you will not have to change an email address.  If Fairpoint doesn’t use DBU’s network, but you really want the fiber, you will need to switch providers and then get a new email address.

“Will I have the option to bundle services if I’d like?”

  • Yes – you will be able to bundle services.  When you speak with area providers, ask them which services they offer and if there are discounts available for bundling.

“If I switch to fiber, will I need new equipment and what does it cost?”

  • Again, this will be dependent upon your provider.  Each provider works with different equipment and has different attachment costs.  As with your cable or DSL provider, these costs are typically allocated over the course of one year and applied to your bill in installments.  Because this is an open access network, we expect competitive pricing – benefiting you, the consumer.