Maine Fiber Company, owner/operator of Maine’s “Three Ring Binder” fiber optic network, announced Tuesday that the final independent audit of its Broadband Technology Opportunities Program project has been completed by the firm of BerryDunn.

As required, the audit has been forwarded to the Office of the Inspector General, effectively closing out the grant. Originally awarded in 2009, the infrastructure grant provided $25M to partially fund construction of the 1,100-mile fiber optic network, which runs throughout the state from Fort Kent to South Berwick.

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MFC’s investors provided $7M in matching funds in order to secure the grant and bring this important “middle-mile” network to Maine.

In addition to constructing the 1,100 route-mile “Three Ring Binder” network designed by the original grant authors, MFC added dark fiber routes that interconnect Maine with Boston and Canada as part of an effort to ensure sustainability.

One of the ISP’s using the Maine Fiber network is Pioneer Broadband, based in Houlton. PR Director Don Flewelling notes that it has taken “our customers from having nothing to having it all. The fact that it was completed under budget and on time shows what can happen when competing businesses work together.“

The network, which primarily leases middle-mile dark fiber, is operated on an open-access, non-discriminatory basis. Company leaders noted that every request to lease MFC fiber to date had been granted, and that there are already customer agreements for leasing fiber on the network.