Resources

The MCA has set a goal of broadband service being universally available, but Maine’s population isn’t dense enough for the private sector alone to expand broadband service. Along with limited state funding, public-private partnerships are required with involvement from the local level. The following resources are intended to be helpful to local community leaders and contribute to the expansion of broadband service statewide.

mark-tegethoff-lX-sxatAvqc-unsplash.jpg

Maine Broadband Coalition
Resources Page

timothy-meinberg-yzMKGjlz0Ic-unsplash.jpg

Enroll in the Affordable Connectivity Program

keith-luke-Ad2BXIYc_gc-unsplash.jpg

The Maine Jobs &
Recovery Plan

257929068_4ca6f10b2c_o.jpg

Maine Homeowner Assistance Fund
(HAF) Program

steven-ritzer-zeuU9P1ta4k-unsplash.jpg

Community-Driven Broadband Process
(Island Institute)

paul-varnum--v9P8wwMXRA-unsplash.jpg

Planning a Community Broadband Roadmap (NTIA)

Mapping

Mapping broadband service helps customers know where broadband is available, and it helps grant applicants identify potentially unserved areas. There will be future opportunities to submit data or comment on the availability or lack of broadband service. Please visit our data collection web page for more information.

 

Get Up to Speed:

Mainers can take a speed test through a project of the Maine Broadband Coalition. 

 

 

NetworkMaine Maps:

The Maine School and Library Network provides internet access to its members; the E-Rate Funded Services map depicts information pulled from applications to the FCC. 

 

NTIA Map:

Indicators of Broadband Need shows the digital divide across the country and was released in June 2021.

Links

 

These external links lead to resources for community leaders:

Broadband Utility Districts

The Community Broadband Planning Support Program includes resources and assistance for communities that have chosen the operational structure of a Broadband Utility District in order to expand broadband service availability. ConnectMaine prioritizes assistance to communities that meet the following requirements:

  • At least four municipalities or local governments have undertaken the Community-Driven Broadband Planning Process;

  • Local government leaders have approved efforts to form a BUD; 

  • There's commitment that the BUD will take on the responsibility of digital equity and inclusion, including efforts to connect customers to the Affordable Connectivity Program or similar opportunities; and 

  • There's commitment to a broadband solution that will result in broadband service availability--service offerings will include 100mbps/100mbps at least.

 

Resources

State statutes allow organization and interlocal cooperation to establish a utility district for broadband services and issue revenue bonds
 

Assistance

For communities that have decided to establish and use a Broadband Utility District to expand broadband availability, ConnectMaine staff will coordinate outreach for technical assistance needed. 
 

 

Grants

The legal fees and other costs involved in establishing a Broadband Utility District are eligible project costs under ConnectMaine Community Broadband Planning Grants. ConnectMaine aims to ensure availability of Broadband Infrastructure Grants for BUD applicants. 
 

Affordability
 

  • A presentation on applying for Emergency Broadband Benefits (pdf) by the NDEC

  • How to apply for the Affordable Connectivity Program at the FCC

  • Find participating internet service providers in Maine listed by the FCC
     

  • Using every tool to tell families about Getlnternet.gov-the one-stop shop where households can check their eligibility, enroll, and learn which providers offer fully covered plans. (Getlnternet.gov is mobile-accessible and available in Spanish. Households can also call 877-384-2575 to learn how to apply.) For example, the State of Michigan displays a banner advertisement in its state benefits mobile application; New York City will advertise Getlnternet.gov at bus stops in zip codes with a high number of households likely eligible for ACP; and Albemarle County, Virginia, includes a "P.S." about Getlnternet.gov in every client communication by county social service workers.
     

  • Directly contacting eligible or likely-eligible households. State and local governments are uniquely well-positioned to let eligible households know about ACP, because they administer certain programs through which households automatically gain ACP eligibility-including Free and Reduced-Price School Lunch or Breakfast Program(including Community-Eligible Schools), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), and Medicaid. Text messages and mail campaigns sent directly to eligible ( or likely eligible) populations have the highest response rates and are recommended where possible. Please reach out to these programs' beneficiaries directly and include information about ACP in existing engagements with households (e.g., at enrollment or regular notifications, in call center or physical office waiting rooms, in case officer communications, etc.). 

    For example, Massachusetts recently texted more than one million SNAP and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) beneficiaries about Getlnternet.gov and saw their rate of enrollments double in the five days following the text. Michigan texted about 1.3 million likely eligible Michiganders and gained 25,000 new ACP enrollees as a result. The city of Mesa, Arizona, similarly reports that constituents who hear about ACP are extremely interested. Mesa's texts to residents about Getlnternet.gov have a 10% clickthrough rate, as compared to a usual 1-5% rate for other Mesa governmental outreach. 
     

  • Mobilizing your schools. Local schools are some of our most trusted partners when it comes to getting families connected. The Federal Government will conduct a Back-To­School campaign with information about ACP, and we encourage you to work with your schools too. For example, New York City sent backpack flyers home via 1,700 principals to reach about one million children who attend Free and Reduced-Price School Lunch Community-Eligible Schools-schools where every household with a student at the school automatically qualifies for ACP.

 
 
 
 
pattern2.png