“Do you want to move to Houlton (Northern Maine)?” was the question my wife asked me one evening.
My background is in Marketing and Design. Northern Maine is known for potatoes and Moose. It’s the place where US Interstate 95 runs out. Last call before New Brunswick, Canada. No, I most certainly did not want to move to Houlton. After the initial shock and reason set in, I warmed up to the idea. We had our daughter and were pregnant with our son. We had no family where we were currently living. My wife was from the Houlton area and her large family was still there. Northern Maine is a wonderful, beautiful and safe place to raise a family. In the end, it was the right thing to do for my wife and children. So in the end, we compromised…and moved to Houlton.
My biggest concern was what I would do for work. I hit the job sites and serendipity was waiting. A Marketing Manager job had opened at a local business. I applied for and was offered the position. This job equated to a 45-minute commute to work (Welcome to Northern Maine!) but it was stable income while we got our feet under us and figured out what to do long term. I had always dreamed of running my own agency but I had all but given up on it when we moved to “the county.”
Then something happened. We purchased a home just out of downtown Houlton. I called the local internet provider and asked if they offer service at my location. Where I moved from (Central Maine) I was at the end of a DSL run, leaving my home with a 5-8 Mbps connection. I did not have high hopes. The man on the phone said he was going to check for me. My disappointment was brewing. I was having waking nightmares of trying to get satellite internet or using a mobile phone hotspot. He came back on the line with the good news that my home was definitely in their service area. Whew. I asked what the connection speed was? Was it DSL?
It was 100/100 fiber
Come again? It was true! For the same price I paid in my old home, I now had a 100/100 fiber connection to my house. This changed everything. Suddenly running my own agency from Northern Maine didn’t seem so unrealistic. I began laying the groundwork and after my first year left my job and ventured out onto my own. It had become convinced that with the proper infrastructure, I could run my business from anywhere.
So Green Minnow Media was born. Once I began working from home, I met others in the area doing the same. Engineers, Programmers, Scientists, incredibly skilled and talented individuals. They had all come to the same realization as me. It’s 2017 and we can have our cake and eat it too. I am now able to raise my family in this wonderful environment, rid myself of a daily commute all while staying competitive in my field. I recently worked on a large animation for a client that required a number of proofs/drafts. Sending gigabytes of data back and forth daily had become trivial. Without this capability, it would be quite literally impossible to work on the large, complex projects necessary to make Green Minnow Media a force in the marketplace.
Fiber internet has been the most liberating resource available to me to date. I can focus on my business and focus on my family. I am my own boss with the creative control that I’ve dreamed of. My physical location no longer matters as Green Minnow creates its own reality. A big shout out to the town of Houlton and Pioneer Broadband for making it possible.