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Regional & Tribal Broadband Partners Program

Program Description

The Regional & Tribal Broadband Partners Program will help deploy, sustain and maximize the benefits of broadband infrastructure investment in all state regions. Each partner will build and lead digital inclusion efforts in each their region and tribe while also providing support for community and regional-scale broadband infrastructure solutions and investments.


Regional  & Tribal Broadband Partners will receive funding and support provided by the  MCA in partnership with the Maine Broadband Coalition (MBC) and National Digital Equity Center (NDEC).  

Who is Eligible?

Non-profit organizations, Indian Tribal governments, or planning commissions, economic development agencies or organizations, councils of government (COGs), schools, libraries, political subdivisions of tribal governments.

Funding Amount

A two-year funding commitment of up to $250,000 per year per grantee

MCA Contact

Maggie Drummond-Bahl

(207) 209-3841

Program Goals

  • Support community-driven broadband solutions that ensure universal connectivity 

  • Strengthen and grow the number of partners thinking about digital equity and inclusion

  • Create alignment and coordination between communities, regions, and the state

Fall 2022 Award Recipients

The Fall 2022 award recipients include the following regional and tribal entities:

  • Androscoggin Valley Council of Governments ($153,078)

  • Eastern Maine Development Corporation ($250,000)

  • Four Directions Development Corporation ($250,000)

  • Greater Franklin Development Council ($215,743)

  • Greater Portland Council of Governments ($250,000)

  • GrowSmart Maine ($183,400)

  • Island Institute ($250,000)

  • Lincoln County Regional Planning Commission ($234,420)

  • Northern Forest Center ($246,081)

  • Northern Maine Development Commission ($250,000)

  • Southern Maine Planning and Development Commission ($249,567)

  • Somerset Economic Development ($209,500)

  • Sunrise County Economic Council ($203,373)

Program Priorities & Deliverables




Program Priorities

The program will prioritize partnerships that demonstrate the following:

  • Demonstrated experience by applicant and/or identified partners within the region in community-driven broadband and broadband planning, digital equity, digital inclusion, or digital skills programming, including participation in the Maine Broadband Coalition “community of practice.” If this is a new program area for the applicant, it will be important to describe how quickly the applicant can adopt broadband as a priority, for example if a Board decision or other decision making process might require time.

  • Ability to convene a broad, representative alliance of partners identified and committed to the project within their region. Click here for suggested partners.

  • Demonstrated capacity to complete the program deliverables through a clear staffing plan and identified roles for members of the regional alliance.  

Staff & Technical Support

The MCA, MBC, and NDEC staff, as well as additional consultants as needed, will work directly with the Regional Partners, including:

  • Coordinating group meetings of Regional Broadband Partners

  • Meeting individually with Regional Partners and/or attending meetings in each region

  • Providing general broadband and digital equity education and support for community driven broadband planning within each region;

  • Providing regular updates about infrastructure projects within each region and advising on infrastructure solutions and grant opportunities; 

  • Facilitating the development of regional digital inclusion plans 

  • Other support as these needs are identified throughout the program.

Grant Deliverables

Grantees must accomplish the following deliverables as part of the grant commitment in year 1:

  • Provide support and education to communities and groups of communities within the region to help support broadband planning and community-driven infrastructure solutions;

  • Convene a broad regional alliance focused on digital inclusion;

  • Develop a regional digital inclusion plan 

  • Identify a regional representative to serve on the statewide Digital Equity Taskforce;

  • Identify a regional representative or partner to serve on the 5-Year Broadband Action Plan committee;

  • Support data collection and research;

  • Helping identify potential community anchor institution investment opportunities;

We plan to convene all grantees to launch the program on December 8 in conjunction with the Maine Broadband Summit taking place in Waterville.  MCA staff will follow up with you after the grant decisions are made, but ask that you save these dates and the following monthly meeting dates which are held via Zoom on the 3rd Wednesday of the month from 9 - 10:30 AM:


January 18, 2023

February 15, 2023

March 15, 2023

April 19, 2023

May 17, 2023

June 21, 2023 (Rural Rise

July 19, 2023

(August 16, 2023) Possible Summer Break

September 20, 2023

October 18, 2023

November 15, 2023

December 20, 2023

Reporting and Compliance

Year one funding will be awarded in November 2022, for a performance period of 12 months for year one activities. Year one reports will be due October 31, 2023, and interim reports may be required at intervals throughout the initial performance period in consultation with MCA staff.  

Ineligible expenses:

  • Funding will not be eligible for use in matching MCA grants.  

  • Funding won’t be eligible for funding capital projects without prior consent from MCA.

  • The State is not permitting an indirect cost rate to be used with this funding; however, reasonable and necessary direct administrative costs are allowable.

  • Please see FAQs for more information.

If a recipient has a current Negotiated Indirect Costs Rate Agreement (“NICRA”) established with a Federal cognizant agency responsible for reviewing, negotiating, and approving cost allocation plans or indirect cost proposals, then the recipient may use its current NICRA. Alternatively, if the recipient does not have a NICRA, the recipient may elect to use the de minimis rate of 10 percent of the modified total direct costs pursuant to 2 CFR 200.414(f).

Priorities & Deliverables
Program Description
Reporting & Compliance
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