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Jun 19, 2023

Maine Connectivity Authority unveils plan for broadband expansion

The Maine Connectivity Authority has released a draft plan for how it plans to expand broadband access across the state over the next five years.

Less than a quarter of Mainers have access to broadband service, with more than 40,000 Mainers having no internet at all. In addition, nearly half of Maine residents have at least some trouble paying for their service.

Maine Connectivity Authority President Andrew Butcher says an immediate goal is to expand access to those with no connection. And the authority is also looking at how to expand broadband options for consumers in order to help bring down prices.

"And enabling communities that want to own their own networks, and operate with a private partnership is one way in which we can help incentivize a diverse and competitive marketplace," he says.

Butcher expects the state will receive about $200 million to $300 million to support its plan from the federal Broadband Equity, Access and Deployment Program.

The authority is still accepting feedback on the plan and will hold two more public forums on it later this month.

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