Thursday, March 24, 2011

FairPoint PR Fumbles

One of the readers of this blog pointed out that the FairPoint coverage map at is indeed out-of-date subsequent to the big installation push at the end of 2010.  I can't swear that no updates have been made.  However, with respect to the town of Northport, with which I am personally concerned, and where at least parts of the town have excellent service up to 15 Mbps, there has been no change.

In terms of public relations, this is pretty dumb.  It turns on its head the old pattern, "Tell them what you are going to do, tell them you are doing it, tell them it has been done."  The new FairPoint pattern: "Tell them you may do it sometime, tell them you did a lot of something somewhere."

If finances are so bad as to require a choice between doing and telling the public in detail what you have done, then we all would prefer that network upgrade and extension take priority.  However, a financially healthy FairPoint also requires that attention be paid to promotion of new service availability so that the installation investment can come back more quickly in the form of a growing subscriber base.  Inattention to the online coverage map and other PR work way be penny-wise and pound-foolish, in other words.


  1. Fair point told me I could get dsl on rocky rd waited a week took time off from work installer calls said they don't cover rocky rd

  2. Well, that is its own kind of bad PR, isn't it? I guess if the company can't even keep it's own staff up to date on what is available, or unavailable, and where, it may be too much to expect that they put some effort into public notification.

    That being said, one hopes that they will soon get to the remote terminal serving you. Not sure if that is the one at the foot of Prescott Hill Rd near where it joins Rocky Rd. If you are near the Belfast line I guess you might be served from a different box. [sigh]


  3. I have been trying off and since 2009 to get some type of high speed in Northport, and no avail. What area's of the town currently have 15Mbps service, and is it Fairpoint?

  4. What there is is FairPoint. I know of only two enabled areas for sure. The remote terminal on Broadway in Bayside was linked with fiber last November. It should work for most of East Northport, except for Route 1 between Brown's Corner and Little River. The RT on Route 1 across from Beech Hill Rd was linked in Jan or Feb. Not sure how far south or west this is good for though.

    Also, the top speed of 15mbps is not available beyond a certain distance from the remote terminal. I think I hear second-hand that 7 mbps was the top option in the vicinity of Temple Heights -- but check with FP.

    Who knows what options might develop after the Three Ring Binder project work is completed. But that will depend on whether any alternative last-mile vendors step forward to actually used this new middle-mile capacity. One would hope that some of the fixed wireless ISPs will be interested. But in order to do so they have to survive until then.

    The short run question -- When will FP do the rest of Northport?

  5. The FairPoint coverage map is very interesting, to put it that way.
    Looking at Kennebec county, it seems like the smaller communities and towns get fiber before some of the bigger ones. Good for those communities and proof of the rural roll-out.
    But at the same time, I wonder about the investment and the number of serviced customers, when rural places like Sidney & Belgrade are fiber established? Before the state capitol Augusta? Waterville is not even planned yet?
    (One guess where I live ;) )
    The rollout seems inverse to the population density and the number of people who will be using it. Fiber is expensive to roll-out and subscribe to. Who will afford fiber to the home in Maine? Plus beyond fiber, dsl is so distance sensitive. I think the limit is around 3 miles.
    I'm hopeful maybe in one or two years we may get fiber to the house, but I'm not holding my breath.
    All that said.
    I wish there was more transparency about planning and roll out. It would greatly benefit existing and future customers.


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