State Backs Loan to Expand Cell Service

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The Finance Authority of Maine has agreed to insure a $3.4 million loan for Wireless Partners, a Portland-based company, which will allow the company to expand 4G LTE services in Washington and Hancock counties. The Bangor Daily News reported that the company has a contract with Verizon Wireless through the LTE for Rural America program to build out the network. These upgrades will allow the counties to have high-quality cell service as wireless fata coverage is spotty throughout eastern Maine. “The Finance Authority of Maine agreed to insure the company’s $3.4 million loan from Mechanics Savings Bank, meaning that state tax dollars would repay up to 95 percent of the loan if Wireless Partners defaults,” the Bangor Daily News. “Wireless Partners said it plans to contribute about $1 million to the project for which it also received state economic development incentives through the Pine Tree Development Zone program. That qualification allows a company to get back 80 percent of the payroll taxes that would be paid on income for employees and qualify for other tax reductions.” Wireless Partners plans to build out 32 new sites, 13 of which would be new towers.

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