Kerem Durdag

Photo by Dave Dostie

Kerem Durdag, President and Chief Operating Officer of Great Works Internet, Founder and Managing Partner of Indus Fund

By Paul Koenig

Great Works Internet (GWI) is “maniacal” about having all Mainers connected to broadband Internet, says Kerem Durdag, president and chief operating officer of GWI, which last year became the nation’s first telecommunications carrier to be certified as a B Corporation. “It is a question of inclusion, equity, and complete participation in the 21st century.” Reliable and affordable broadband infrastructure has been largely absent in rural Maine, Durdag says, blocking many residents from participating in remote work, distance education, and telehealth, as well as accessing business opportunities and services, participatory government, and other benefits. “If Maine is to prosper, broadband has to be one of the anchor points,” he says. Toward that goal, this year GWI received ConnectMaine Authority funding to expand its high-speed fiber-optic network to the community of Northport and is busy coordinating with municipalities across Maine. It also worked with the Finance Authority of Maine and Arctaris Impact Fund to finance a $11 million project to bring high-speed fiber-optic internet to South Portland and Belfast. After years of planning, Durdag helped launch the Indus Fund in October 2020. The program works with cPort Credit Union to provide below-market interest rate loans to the immigrant business community in Maine. “Immigrant business owners have to have the access to the banking infrastructure in order to grow their businesses, contribute to the overall economic development of the state, and participate in creating generational wealth,” Durdag says. “This is a call to knit the fabric of human society that allows for the fullest participation in our democracy.”

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