Broadband Action Plan
In November 2022, MCA was notified of the allocation of $5 million in Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) Program planning funds for Maine. This is the first step in a multi-year process that will bring hundreds of millions of dollars to the state to provide affordable, reliable broadband and while building the digital infrastructure of our future. These efforts include building capacity in state broadband offices, outreach and coordination with local communities and stakeholders statewide, and the organization of comprehensive digital equity efforts to ensure the most un(der)served populations have equitable access to affordable broadband and the opportunities presented by it.
A key component of this program is the development of a Broadband Action Plan (BAP). This plan will guide the spending of a minimum of $95 million in broadband funds, and likely substantially more.
As part of this integrated planning process, MCA will be conducting extensive engagement - in person, online, through key partners, and just about anywhere else we can. We will criss-cross the state to hear and learn how access to broadband will improve the quality of life for all Mainers, and how best to deliver the right infrastructure and services. We will work to understand the needs of everyday Mainers, our workforce, businesses, educational institutions, cultural and civic groups, and healthcare.
Digital equity is the condition in which all individuals and communities have the information technology capacity for full participation in our society and economy. This is a critical component of the BAP and will be a keen focus for MCA during the planning process, with the help of the state's Digital Equity Taskforce and other partners.