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Data Collection

Introduction

The Maine Connectivity Authority (MCA) is designing a comprehensive program that will meet the state’s long-term connectivity needs, provide critical education and training, and connect everyone in Maine with affordable, reliable, and world-class internet. According to the latest data from December 2023, 15% of the state lacks even basic internet service, and only 24% have access to true 21st-century broadband  internet service.

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Broadband Intelligence Platform

MCA’s work relies on the further development and utilization of the Broadband Intelligence Platform (BIP). This data and mapping tool was initially developed by the ConnectMaine Authority and will continue to serve the MCA as it takes over the state’s data collection duties. The BIP facilitates the aggregation, visualization, and convergence of many data and map layers, resulting in the display of internet service and network technology availability near potential subscriber locations. 

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The Broadband Intelligence Platform will help the state make data-driven decisions, prioritize funding for rural, unserved areas, and maximize the impact of federal funds flowing to the state.

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Why Is Data Collection Important?
 

In addition to the annual data filings required of the industry, MCA is currently taking part in the federal government's process for determining the total amount of funds available to the state of Maine under the Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act or Bipartisan Infrastructure Act. Data sharing may be a prerequisite for eligibility for MCA funding.*

 

It is critical that we collect accurate data that will maximize the available funds awarded to the state. The award amount is highly dependent on the number of potential subscriber locations in unserved and underserved areas.

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Step 1: Feedback Opportunities

During the summer of 2022, the MCA will engage industry and community leaders to gather feedback on the data that would inform participation in MCA programming. We will also seek information from potential applicants regarding locations that proposed projects could serve.

 

The FCC has shared that it will only consider broadband service availability data collected “as of June 30,” so communities must continue participating in the Maine speed testing initiative located here!

Resources & Links:

 

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Step 2: Public Map Viewer

The Maine Connectivity Authority will publish public maps based on the Broadband Intelligence Platform ahead of the next application window and through the end of the year. These maps will help our state and federal governments determine locations eligible for support, and direct the location and scope of potential future projects. 

 

Once available, community leaders can support the understanding of broadband availability by filing additional local data that will increase the utility of the BIP. The development of BIP and public maps will continue later this fall and winter, expanding from mapping broadband service availability to showing digital equity gaps and resources.

* MCA will reserve the right for determining funding eligibility.

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