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New Connect the Ready Awards: $20.8 million to connect almost 6,500 homes  & businesses

MCA is excited to announce five new Connect the Ready: Cohort 2 grant awards that were approved at the December MCA Board Meeting. Read below about each award, or read the recent press release here

Connect the Ready Grants 

Program Description

Connect the Ready is a competitive grants program that will encourage proactive partnerships and collaborative efforts to design, fund, and build broadband infrastructure projects in eligible areas.

 

The program will optimize broadband deployment to unserved locations and encourage projects that will expand universal broadband service throughout communities. In addition to proactive identification of eligible project areas, MCA will collaborate with applicants on the scope of projects and readiness of project partners.

Who is Eligible?

Public & private partners: internet service providers, or broadband utility districts, and other governmental entities that have chosen ISP partners. 

MCA Contact

Chris Boniakowski

cboniakowski@maineconnectivity.org

(207) 200-6577

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During the Spring and Summer of 2023, Maine Connectivity Authority has worked to refine the Connect the Ready program. With the feedback of previous applicants, partners, and contributors around the state, we updated the program design to streamline the application and review process while ensuring that funding was prioritized for the projects and areas of greatest need.

 

In December, the MCA Board approved five new Connect the Ready: Cohort 2 Awards totaling $20.8 Million. These awards will bring affordable high-quality broadband internet to almost 6,500 homes and businesses across 27 communities and will leverage almost $11 million in private and community matching funding. The current round of grants includes:

Connect the Ready: Cohort 2 Awards
 

  • $ 3,745,423 - Moscow, Bingham, Caratunk, Pleasant Ridge Plantation, The Forks, West Forks
    Consolidated Communications

  • $ 3,082,357 - Greenfield, Grindstone, Indian Purchase 3, Indian Purchase 4, Kingman, Long A, Mattamiscontis, Prentiss  |  Consolidated Communications

  • $ 10,867,737 - Waldo Broadband Corporation (Palermo, Freedom, Liberty, Montville, Searsmont)Unitel/Direct Communication

  • $ 1,886,241 - Town of Orland   |  Consolidated Communications

  • $ 1,291,583 - Kossuth, Topsfield, Codyville, Lambert Lake, Vanceboro, Waite, Talmadge
    Consolidated Communications

Connect the Ready Cohort 1 Awards

These grants will help to fund 14 projects, covering 33 communities in nine counties. The projects will provide broadband service to more than 18,300 homes and businesses and will leverage over $20 million in private investment from communities and service providers. The current round of grants include:

  • $1,556,059 - Town of Abbot + Premium Choice Broadband 
    (also covering portions of Parkman, Guilford)

  • $966,912  - Town of Arrowsic + Axiom Technologies

  • $705,866 - Town of Bowerbank + Premium Choice Broadband
    (also covering portions of Sebec)

  • $2,292,601 - Town of Bradford + Premium Choice Broadband
    (also covering portions of Charleston)

  • $3,040,838 - Towns of Brooks and Waldo + Unitel/Direct Communication

  • $1,137,842 - Town of Clifton + Premium Choice Broadband
    (also covering portions of Bradley, Eddington)

  • $8,133,267 - Greater East Grand Economic Council + Consolidated Communications
    (including portions of Danforth, Drew Plt, Glenwood Plt, Orient, Reed Plt, Weston)

  • $2,172,890 - Town of Greenville + Premium Choice Broadband
    (also covering portions of Beaver Cove, Shirley, and the townships of Lily Bay and Frenchtown)

  • $8,827,148 - Town of Skowhegan + Consolidated Communications
    (also including portions of Madison, Cornville, and Canaan)

  • $1,697,997 - Town of Swan’s Island + TDS Telecommunications

  • $2,229,396 - Town of Vienna + Axiom Technologies

  • $1,247,609 - Town of Willimantic + Premium Choice Broadband
    (also covering portions of townships of Blanchard and Elliottsville)

Who is eligible to apply?

Eligible applicants are ready public & private partners: internet service providers, or broadband utility districts, and other governmental and tribal entities that have chosen ISP partners, and projects occur in partnership with communities that are ready to be connected with the chosen solution as the proposed project. MCA will encourage communities to partner with private entities and will require private applicants to gain the support of their proposed communities. Applicants must submit a formal expression of support from the leadership of the affected communities, and a memorandum of understanding between the parties will be required as a condition of the award prior to receipt of grant funds.

 

Partnerships on proposed projects that involve locally-funded infrastructure will include an operations agreement that covers maintenance, future connections, and upgrades. This agreement can be submitted as part of the application or as a condition of the award prior to receipt of grant funds.

 

Applicants must also identify a point of contact for digital equity planning in the affected communities. Involved ISPs must meet eligibility requirements, including completion of annual required data filings.

Program Description
Who Is Eligible?
Cohort 1 Awards
Cohort 2 Awards
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