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Community Advocacy

Learn more about challenges facing community driven broadband projects in the news and from community members themselves. Scroll to the bottom for a Rapid Response Toolkit communities can use to effectively tackle these challenges.


As broadband funding from the federal government reaches Maine and community's ready themselves to apply for some of that funding, we've seen an uptick in efforts to undermine community broadband projects. With this page, we aim to provide the following:                     

An updated list of Media Coverage surrounding these efforts.

A collection of Community Voices, giving insight into what went well and what lessons were learned in their broadband projects.                     

A Rapid Response Toolkit providing resources for your broadband committee to combat misinformation and divisive broadband messaging in your community.                        

Media Coverage

In response to the recent campaign against publicly owned internet in Maine, a number of outlets including the Bangor Daily News and MPBN have published articles that can be found below. We will continue to update this list as more information becomes available.

See below for articles on the broadband landscape in Maine, and the challenges that face communities looking to upgrade their networks. 

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08.08.22 Maine's broadband revolution requires cooperation  

by Andrew Butcher, Maine Connectivity Authority

Andrew Butcher, President of the Maine Connectivity Authority, reflects on the future of broadband in Maine, emphasizing that all options must be on the table in order to achieve state-wide connectivity.

07.07.22 Charter-funded group campaigns against Maine municipal broadband, riling residents and ‘partners’

by Steve Mistler, Maine Public Radio

A group funded by Maine's largest internet service provider has successfully helped defeat municipal broadband projects in the tiny communities of Readfield and Southport.


06.28.22 Big-campaign tactics come to local Maine elections on broadband expansion  

by Caitlin Andrews, Bangor Daily News

A spin-off Facebook page led by the alliance called “Protect Readfield” spent nearly $14,000 on ads from March 27 to June 24, according to site disclosures. Voters there ultimately defeated a town-owned broadband network on June 14. 

Community Voices

Hear from communities who are raising their voices against the current efforts to undermine community driven broadband projects. These pieces can provide useful talking points to other communities facing similar issues.

See below for examples of broadband committees addressing opposition within their community.


08.01.22 A Mainer Speaks Out About Campaign Astroturfing and Social Media Manipulation

by Sarah Sherman, Southport

Sarah Sherman, resident of Southport, talks about the Alliance for Quality (AQB) presence in her town in advance of their broadband project vote. She shares her experience interacting with the group on Facebook, and urges Mainers to raise questions publicly about efforts to derail Maine’s rural broadband projects.


07.25.22 Learning From Southport's Community Driven Broadband Experience

by Joe Oliva, MBC

Joe Oliva shares lessons learned from a meeting where MBC convened community members around the state to hear from Southport’s broadband committee after the town vote that upended their five year community-driven process. 


07.20.22 Are We Preaching to the Choir? Thoughts on Community Ownership and Frank Conversations

by Joe Meadows, Southwestern Waldo County Broadband

Joe Meadows, member of the Southwestern Waldo County Broadband Coalition, responds to the misinformation and propaganda being spread recently about publicly owned networks, and offers some advice to communities.

Community Rapid Response Toolkit

See below for resources and tools to help move your community broadband project forward. This toolkit will be further developed as we learn more about what resources communities need. 

Marketing 101 for Community Broadband Committees

by Tracy Scheckel

Engaging the public is critical to the success of any broadband focused committee; a well-planned PR campaign is an important element of community outreach. Click the link below for resources from Tracy Scheckel, Marketing Manager at the Ellsworth American, on PR Dos and Don'ts for any community looking to further their outreach. 

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Community Networks Successes and Failures

by muninetworks

A national non profit assessment of successes and lessons learned in community owned broadband. 

More Resources

Are you starting to see divisive broadband messaging in your community? Please fill out the form below and we will follow up with more direct assistance on how to support your community led broadband project.

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