Maine communities lacking broadband look for boost amid record funding

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A connection to high-speed and reliable internet is a necessity in most homes, but tens of thousands of Mainers are still lagging behind. According to state data, nearly 80,000 households in Maine don't meet the minimum standard for high-speed internet. The State of Maine is expected to distribute a record amount of funding in 2022 to help connect the tens of thousands of residents who are considered unserved by high-speed internet. "That number is getting chipped away at as we speak," said Andrew Butcher, President of the Maine Connectivity Authority. "In 2022, we're seeing about $44 million worth of investment deployed and providing service to more than 21,000 households." The Maine Connectivity Authority is a quasi-government agency tasked with planning, developing, investing and managing broadband infrastructure in the state. They also play a critical role in hitting a goal set by Governor Janet Mills (D-ME); connecting every Mainer who wants broadband with broadband in less than 2 years. Recently the Governor's Office announced the approval of the 2nd round of broadband infrastructure projects funded by a voter-approved bond. The nearly $24 million in projects will help connect around 6,000 Maine homes and businesses with high-speed internet. It's expected that even more projects will get the kickstart they need when the state begins receiving hundreds of millions of dollars in federal funding that's been earmarked for broadband expansion.

Lagging Behind | Maine communities lacking broadband look for boost amid record funding