Maine will receive $272 million in federal funds to expand broadband

The Biden administration is sending $272 million to Maine in an ambitious effort to expand high-speed Internet there and bring broadband to 94,000 homes and businesses without reliable service.

The Maines award, part of a $42 billion package aimed at providing high-speed connectivity to every corner of the United States, is the largest amount among New England states. The money will be spent primarily on gaining access to underprivileged communities in rural parts of the state.

President Joe Biden and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration announced the state awards on Monday. The funding will be spread over the next five years.

The Maine Connectivity Authority recently outlined a plan for using federal funds. Officials had expected to receive more than $200 million, but the grant exceeded their hopes.

This allocation is tens of millions more than expected, said Andrew Butcher, chair of the authority.

Butcher said Maine got such a large premium because the state was well prepared to submit a proposal for federal assistance. That preparation included Gov. Janet Mills creating the quasi-government authority in 2021, she said.

Maine is also receiving more than any other New England state because the problem here is more acute.

Maine’s allotment was larger than other New England states because the scale of the problem we’re trying to address is the largest, said Brian Allenby, a spokesman for the authority.

Under the federal allotment formula, Maine has just over 42,000 homes and businesses that currently have no Internet connection, compared with Vermont, 32,291; New Hampshire, 25,593; Massachusetts, 12,388; Connecticut, 11,616; and Rhode Island, 2,309, Allenby said.

Vermont was awarded the second largest prize in New England, $229 million.

Mills said the grant award, through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, is the largest Maine has ever received to build broadband Internet service.

This grant funding is historic in scope and will have historic impact, Mills said in a written statement.

Mills, a Democrat, credited the Maine congressional delegation and the Biden administration for helping deliver on his promise to make an Internet connection available to everyone in Maine who wants one.

Senator Susan Collins, R-Maine, co-authored the broadband legislation with Senator Jeanne Shaheen, D-New Hampshire.

Access to high-speed Internet is critical to the vitality of rural communities, Collins said in a written statement. From inspiring job creation to supporting telehealth and education, the Internet offers nearly endless benefits and possibilities.

Rep. Chellie Pingree, 1st D-Maine District, said she is happy to help secure funding to expand affordable high-speed Internet to many Maine residents who live without it.

This significant federal investment will help close the digital divide affecting businesses and families across our state, Pingree said in a written statement.

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is expected to bring about $2.5 billion to Maine over the next five years for critical broadband, transportation, energy and environmental projects.

In December, Maine was awarded $5.5 million to plan the rollout and adoption of broadband service across the state. Earlier this month, the Maine Connectivity Authority received $30 million from the Bills Middle Mile Broadband Infrastructure grant program.

Since its inception, the authority has facilitated more than $100 million in investments to enable more than 53,000 connections statewide.

The Maine Connectivity Authority is seeking public comment on its Broadband Action Plan and more information is available at

Use the form below to reset your password. After you submit your account email, we’ll send you an email with a recovery code.

” Previous

Next ”

#Maine #receive #million #federal #funds #expand #broadband
Image Source :

Leave a Comment