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Mar 1, 2023

$17M grants to expand internet in Skowhegan, Canaan and 13 other locations

MCA Awards $8.8 million to Skowhegan and portions of Madison, Cornville, and Canaan through the Connect the Ready program.

Grants totaling nearly $17 million from the Maine Connectivity Authority will expand fiber internet in parts of Skowhegan, Canaan and 13 other rural Maine locations.

Consolidated Communications, a fiber-to-home provider, has received funding that will help bring fiber internet to 10,995 homes.

Consolidated partnered with Skowhegan, Madison, Cornville and Canaan to apply for MCA’s Connect the Ready grant program to provide $8.8 million to reach 9,290 homes.

“This project will provide the opportunity for a fiber connection to every residence and business in the town of Skowhegan,” said Town Manager Christine Almand. “Although the town has been discussing our needs for high-speed, reliable internet access for more than a decade, those needs became much more apparent at the onset of the pandemic.”

“Every economic and community development strategy in Greater East Grand region depends on having access to high-speed broadband,” said Sarah Strickland, interim director Greater East Grand Economic Council, which worked with Connect the Ready Program. “This investment through Consolidated is a game-changer for the people of this region, and all 11 communities are thrilled.”

Consolidated Communications has brought fiber internet to 147,000 homes and small businesses since 2021. Consolidated and MCA also collaborated on an $18.3 million grant from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration to build fiber internet to more than 22,000 homes and businesses in the Blue Hill Peninsula, the Rangeley area and Farmington. Those projects are scheduled to be completed by spring 2023.

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