Down East Getting Expanded Cell Service

Oct 15, 2015

If you've ever traveled through the blueberry barrens of Washington County, you've probably run into spotty cell coverage and no data service.

"About a week ago, you couldn't upload or download large files," says Robert Parlsoe, president of Portland-based Wireless Partners LLC. "You were roaming, and you were getting, at best, 2G coverage and it was not contiguous."

But that's about to change, he says. Wireless Partners is working with Verizon to complete an extension of the Verizon 4G LTE network by the time winter hints.

The project, announced Thursday, extends wireless broadband to 32 sites, and includes the construction of 13 new cell towers throughout Down East.

"Roughly in about 45 days and certainly — hopefully — before the snow flies, we'll have the entire network installed and operating," Parlsoe says.

The network is concentrated along the Route 1 corridor between Ellsworth and Eastport, and the Route 9 corridor, known as the Airline, between the Bangor region and Calais.