Broadband expansion 'roadshow' heads to six Maine towns

BY Staff


The ConnectME Authority and U.S. Department of Agriculture will host community meetings across Maine this month for discussions on broadband expansion.
Meetings are scheduled for July 12 in Rumford and Farmington, July 17 in Skowhegan and Dover-Foxcroft and July 19 in Bucksport and Georgetown.
The scheduled gatherings follow a statewide broadband action plan released in March by ConnectME and the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development.
It lays down initiatives to ensure that Maine’s broadband needs are met within five years of initial funding and envisions a combination of local, state, federal and private-sector investment.
Currently, broadband expansion in Maine is funded through an assessment on consumer landline phone bills and come to around $850,000 according to the DECD.
A recently passed Congressional spending bill that includes $600 million for rural broadband nationally will be allocated through USDA Rural Development.
“Maine is prepared to compete for a portion of that funding,” the DECD said in a press release announcing the six community meetings.
It added: “Federal money coupled with state and private investment is an aggressive start to getting Maine businesses and residents through infrastructure expansion.”