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May 1, 2024

You can help decide where Broadband Expansion funding goes in Maine

AUGUSTA-- Recently Maine was awarded $272-million-dollars in federal funding to help expand broadband in the state, and now you could help determine where that money goes...

"The state led challenge process is the next step in our bead journey that started the Broadband Equity Access and Deployment Program." says Brian Allenby, the Communications Director for the Maine Connectivity Authority, he says the state was awarded over $270 million dollars in federal funding to expand broadband access in the state. They've started a state-led challenge process for municipalities, tribal nations, and non-profits to participate in and share their data with MCA.

" There are a number of different types of challenges. Everything from whether the service that's reported to be available in a location actually is available. Whether the speeds reported at that location are actually delivered" adds Allenby

Of course, if you're not a municipality, tribal nation, or non-profit, you can still participate in the process by doing an individual speed test. " What's unique here is it's a little bit different than some of the same tests you've seen in the state of Maine in the past. We need three separate speed test samples from that same location over three different days. The system is set up once you register your speed test the first time you take your first test, it'll send you a reminder email each successive day. So you just have to go back and take three of those tests." says Allenby

The reason why the challenge process is so important, Allenby says, is because they are working from older data from the FCC, which may be outdated or inaccurate." It's really important that those organizations as eligible challengers and individuals can take part in the statewide challenge process to help us understand where the data in that FCC map is inaccurate."

Maine Connectivity Authority will take the results of these challenges and determine how the funding gets distributed based on the needs of the community

Learn more about the State-Led Challenge Process : HERE

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