top of page

ConnectMaine Authority

The ConnectMaine Authority is now a co-located unit of the MCA.

The ConnectMaine Authority is a public instrumentality of the Maine state government, whose mission is to facilitate the universal availability of broadband to all Maine households and businesses and help them understand the valuable role it can play in enriching their lives and helping their communities thrive. In the fall of 2022, ConnectMaine became a co-located unit of MCA.

The functional integration of MCA and ConnectMaine operations provides a “single door” solution and simplifies access for Maine citizens, broadband stakeholders, and governmental partners. By streamlining operations and financial resources, the State can efficiently plan, develop, fund, and maintain our broadband infrastructure. This will allow MCA to accelerate the pace of planning and deployment of funds building from Maine’s model of high-impact broadband policies and practices. ConnectMaine funding, responsibilities, and staffing have been contractually assigned to MCA by the ConnectMaine Authority Board of Directors.

Funding Screenshot.png

NTIA Mountains to the Sea Awards

During the fall of 2021, ConnectMaine applied for and was awarded a grant of $28 million as part of the Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) Broadband Infrastructure Program. This grant was designed to help spread broadband services to the many rural communities in Maine that have suffered from a lack of internet access.

 

Grant awards from the highly competitive program were announced in the spring of 2022. NTIA reported roughly $2.5 billion in applications from 49 states – a near 10X oversubscription of the $280 million in available funds for state applications. The federal funds, awarded through a competitive grant process, will support public/private partnerships between communities and providers in Franklin, Hancock, Knox, and Lincoln counties. The specific grant awards include:

  • $3,186,247 - This project in Jefferson will be built in partnership with LCI, which will extend fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) service to 100% of all addresses in the town of Jefferson. LCI will extend its existing fiber optic transmission backbone to feed a central office to be built in Jefferson as a distribution hub. 

  • $1,601,901 - This project in Somerville will be built in partnership with Axiom Technologies and will deploy Adtran fiber optic equipment in Sommerville to bring a dedicated fiber connection to each home and business.

  • $1,233,305 - This project on Isle Au Haut will be built in partnership with Axiom Technologies and will deploy Adtran fiber optic equipment to Isle Au Haut, a small island off the coast of Stonington. The project will construct a 100-foot free-standing tower on the island with a central office at its base, from which FTTH will be distributed to each resident of the island.

  • $2,988,919 - This project in Washington will be built in partnership with Axiom Technologies and will  deploy Adtran fiber optic equipment in Washington to bring a dedicated fiber connection to each home and business. 

  • $9,830,985 - This project on the Blue Hill peninsula will be built in partnership with Consolidated Communications and will deploy fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) serving the towns of Penobscot, Blue Hill, Brooksville, Castine, Sedgwick, Brooklin, Deer Isle and a small portion of Stonington.

  • $3,651,625 - This project in Rangeley Lakes will be built in partnership with Consolidated Communications and will deploy FTTP in the Rangeley Lakes area of Maine’s Appalachian Mountains, serving the towns of Rangeley, Rangeley Plantation, Dallas Plantation, and Sandy River Plantation. 

  • $4,888,725 - This project in Farmington will be built in partnership with Consolidated Communications and will deploy FTTP in the Farmington area, serving the towns of Farmington, Temple, New Sharon, Industry, Wilton, Mercer, New Vineyard, Starks, and Strong.

High-Speed Internet Infrastructure Bond

In July 2020, voters overwhelmingly supported a $15 million High-Speed Internet Infrastructure Bond. The $15 million bond represented the first significant funding that ConnectMaine had received in its twelve-year history.

In May 2021, ConnectMaine approved the first round of broadband infrastructure projects funded by this bond, including $8,671,323 in grants to 20 projects in 11 counties across Maine serving 8,571 locations. 

In May 2022, a second round of broadband infrastructure awards was announced in Androscoggin, Cumberland, Lincoln, Oxford, and Waldo counties. Through the 8 projects, approximately 6,000 Maine homes and businesses were connected in the communities of Buckfield, Chebeague Island, Cooper, Hartford, Hebron, Leeds, Northport, Princeton, Searsport, and Southport.

 

In addition to the $6.5 million remaining from the original $15 million broadband bond, approximately $8.5 million for the second round of grant funding came from federal funds the state had designated for the Maine Connectivity Authority through the Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan.

 

Awards from both rounds include:

  • $2,845,079 - Northport Broadband Infrastructure Project in partnership with GWI

  • $2,087,464 - Searsport Broadband Infrastructure Project in partnership with Consolidated Communications

  • $410,000 - Eastbrook Community-Driven Broadband Project in partnership with Consolidated Communications

  • $388,800 - Long Island FTTP Community-Driven Broadband Project in partnership with Consolidated Communications

  • $858,365 - Georgetown Community-Driven Broadband Project in partnership with Axiom Technologies

  • $105,056 - Indian Township Community-Driven Broadband Project in partnership with Pioneer Broadband

  • $161,323 - Burlock Road Presque Isle Provider Expansion Project in partnership with Pioneer Broadband

  • $1,824,660 - Somerset County Community-Driven Broadband Project. Serving the communities of Big Moose, Harfords Point, Jackman, Long Pond, Misery Gore, Moose River, Moosehead Junction, Rockwood Strip T1 R1 NBKP, Sandwich Academy Grant, Sapling, Taunton & Raynham Academy Grant, Tomhegan in partnership with Premium Choice Broadband

  • $1,200,737 - Dedham Area Provider Expansion Project. Serving the communities of Dedham, Ellsworth, and Holden in partnership with Premium Choice Broadband

  • $154,143 - Dover-Foxcroft Area Provider Expansion Project. Serving the communities of Dover-Foxcroft and Garland in partnership with Premium Choice Broadband

  • $313,248 - Greenville Provider Expansion Project in partnership with Premium Choice Broadband

  • $577,243 - Monson Provider Expansion Project in partnership with Premium Choice Broadband

  • $506,610 - Orland & Surry Provider Expansion Project in partnership with Premium Choice Broadband

  • $705,752 - Appleton & Hope Community-Driven Broadband Project in partnership with LCI

  • $141,150 - Bristol Community-Driven Broadband Project in partnership with LCI

  • $147,000 - Alexander Community-Driven Broadband Project in partnership with Pioneer Broadband

  • $2,100,000 - Leeds Broadband Infrastructure Project in partnership with Axiom Technologies

  • $800,000 - Chebeague Island Broadband Project in partnership with Axiom Technologies

  • $4,953,966 - Sumner Broadband Infrastructure Project in partnership with GWI

  • $400,000 - Cooper Broadband Infrastructure Project in partnership with Pioneer Broadband

  • $235,309 - Princeton Broadband Infrastructure Project in partnership with Pioneer Broadband

pattern2.png
bottom of page