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Rivahnet™ is a wholly owned subsidiary of Union River Telephone Company in Aurora, Maine.
Union River Telephone was founded in 1905 by up-river businessmen Albert E. Mace, Dr. J. Herbert Patten and Herbert Trafton Silsby. Its charter was to provide communication service to the Union River Valley, including the Towns of Aurora, Amherst, Mariaville, Waltham, Eastbrook, Otis and Clifton, and Plantations 8, 21 and 33. Using a then “state of the art” hand crank magneto system and open wire lines there were 25 subscribers by the end of 1905.
By the late 1950’s the system was ready for an upgrade and expansion. The Company secured financing, constructed new lines, and early in 1960 the hand crank system was turned down and modern dial service was established. Over the next 15 years, expansion continued into the originally chartered areas, minus Eastbrook and Clifton which had been served by New England Telephone Company. In 1975, the Company expanded eastward to Beddington, Deblois, and several Townships, providing service to the area for the first time since 1945.
Over the next 25 years, the system grew and was continuously upgraded. Service was transformed from analog dial to digital communications. Service was as good, or better, than that found in any metropolitan area.
The beginning of the Internet in the late 1990’s posed a new challenge. It was clear Union River customers wanted Internet service. The problem was that no Internet providers wanted to serve such a remote area. As in the past, Union River’s owners realized that the only way Union River customers could get good service was if the Company provided it. Subsequently, Rivahnet™ was established and began dialup service in 2000. Dialup was soon replaced by DSL for faster speeds. As demand for even faster internet speed developed it became obvious that Union River had to make major changes to its system to meet customer demand.
In 2007, Union River Telephone took a quantum leap and decided to replace its copper facilities with fiber optics, commonly known as Fiber to the Home (FTTH), for both voice and Internet service. Union River Telephone was the first company in New England, and the only company in Maine, to convert its entire system to state of the art fiber optic facilities, which remains so to this day.
With the success of its FTTH system, Rivahnet™ is testing expansion into other areas.