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October 20, 2021

Newly created Maine Connectivity Authority may install Andrew Butcher as first president

Gov. Janet Mills on Wednesday said she will nominate Andrew Butcher, director of the Maine Broadband Coalition, to serve as the first president of the Maine Connectivity Authority, a new public entity created to help make high-speed internet service available throughout the state.

Andrew Butcher may become first head of Maine Connectivity Authority
Courtesy / Office of Gov. Janet Mills
Andrew Butcher of Maine Connectivity Authority

The quasi-independent agency was launched earlier this year, and in July Mills swore in the authority's first board members.

In addition to his role with the Broadband Coalition, an advocacy and policy group, Butcher also serves as the director of innovation and resilience for the Greater Portland Council of Governments and has lengthy experience in broadband expansion and deployment.

“Andrew’s expertise in broadband and his wealth of experience in cross-community infrastructure and financial management position him well to take on this important new role,” Mills said in a news release.

“Expanding access to affordable broadband is central to strengthening our economy and to providing educational, telehealth, business, and workforce opportunities to people in every corner of our state."

Mills' nomination of Butcher requires approval by the Maine Legislature.

The authority will work to ensure that effective, accessible connectivity is universally accessible in the state, as well as create infrastructure that can meet future needs. The agency also will ensure that all residents and businesses in Maine be able to take advantage of the economic, health, educational and other opportunities available through connectivity services.

Mills has budgeted $21 million through the Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan and $128 million through federal American Rescue Plan funds to enable the Maine Connectivity Authority to expand access to affordable broadband.

Butcher has a master's of science degree in public policy and management from Carnegie Mellon University and a bachelor’s in political science from American University. He is the recipient of the Echoing Green Global Fellowship for Social Entrepreneurship and served as a Coro Fellow in St. Louis, Missouri.

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