Dec 13, 2022
With federal broadband funds coming, the Maine Connectivity Authority looks to fill in coverage gaps
The Maine Connectivity Authority has launched a critical public education campaign called the Correct the Dots challenge that will help the Federal Communications Commission in gathering the most accurate information about broadband accessibility and quality across the state.
Maine residents will have until Jan. 13 to check their address on a new federal internet map and to file a challenge if the information is incorrect.
Individuals' input in the Correct the Dots challenge will help improve the accuracy of the broadband map and result in federal funding for broadband in the areas that need it the most.
"It's simple to check your address and to help us to 'Correct the Dots," Andrew Butcher, president of the Maine Connectivity Authority. "We have already identified hundreds of errors in the new internet maps. We need everyone's help. The process to file a challenge is simple and only takes a couple of minutes, but the results could help us improve reliability for Maine people and ensure every community in the state can access affordable, high-speed, that works."
In coming years, Maine will receive at least $250 million in federal funding to strengthen broadband coverage, including going into previously unserved or underserved rural and Tribal areas.
It will be the largest influx of public broadband funding since the launch of the Three Ring Binder project in 2009.
But to determine the areas with the greatest needs, the Maine Connectivity Authority, which was founded in 2021, is looking for feedback from Maine residents.
The Correct the Dots challenge is simple: residents can use the map on the MCA website to check their address. If the information about the broadband service offerings available at home, camp or business needs to be corrected, click Availability Challenge, fill out the form, and submit.
The MCA encourages residents to share the news throughout the community to help improve the quality of broadband services in Maine. The map and more information can be found here.
"High-speed, reliable internet is critical to Maine's future. Right now, small businesses and families are at a disadvantage across the state because they don't have access to reliable broadband internet. One of the first steps in expanding broadband to areas that need it most is to make sure that the federal government has correct information on where broadband is available and where it is not," said Butcher. "The internet maps will help to determine how federal resources are divided among the states and how those resources are spent on improved internet. If we want Maine to have the resources needed to reach everyone, we need the maps to be as accurate as possible."