The 100-foot Axiom internet tower is delivered in sections to the installation site behind the Cranberry Isles town office and fire station on Islesford. PHOTO COURTESY OF AXIOM TECHNOLOGIES

Two more weeks with no internet



CRANBERRY ISLES — Axiom Technologies is “racing along” with the wiring of Islesford for internet service, company President Mark Ouellette said Monday, but it will be another two or three weeks before residents will have internet access through the new system.

Many Islesford residents have been without internet access since Oct. 31, when RedZone Wireless discontinued service to the island.

“We have done a good portion of the trunk fiber, which is the connectivity from the tower that runs by all the homes, and the majority of it should be done this week,” Ouellette said.

“We’re also beginning to do a lot of work at the homes to get them ready for a connection. We’re shooting for a beginning of service the first or second week of December.”

The priority is hooking up the homes of year-round residents.

It was hoped that Axiom would have its new system in place by the Oct. 31-cutoff of the old system, but there have been some unexpected delays. The centerpiece of the system, a 100-foot tower, was erected two weeks ago behind the town office and fire station.

A smaller tower has been put up on Great Cranberry Island. It will serve residents of that island and Sutton Island starting next year.

Islesford residents who were RedZone customers are able to use the library’s computer at Neighborhood House to access the internet. That connection is provided by the Maine School and Library Network, a consortium of about 1,000 schools and libraries across the state.

Richard Beal, chairman of the Cranberry Isles Board of Selectmen, said that having the Axiom system in place by Oct. 31 was a goal but not a provision of the contract between the company and the town, so Axiom will face no penalty for missing that date. He said that was discussed at town meeting in March, but the idea of a penalty was rejected because there were still so many unknowns.

“For example, were we going to be able to bury the cable everywhere or string it by poles?” he said. “Where were the towers going to go, and how long would it take to put them up? There were a number of things that needed to be discussed and worked out.

“Fortunately, most people understood that nothing comes easy on the islands. So, Axiom doesn’t have a penalty. They just have to demonstrate that they are working on it.”

Beal said the company has been working diligently to get the system operational as quickly as possible.

“I’m very proud of what they’re doing,” he said. “And people understand that when completed, it’s going to be so much nicer; it will be faster.”

 

Dick Broom

Dick Broom

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Dick Broom covers the towns of Mount Desert and Southwest Harbor, Mount Desert Island High School and the school system board and superintendent's office. He enjoys hiking with his golden retriever and finding new places for her to swim. [email protected]
Dick Broom

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