July 27, 2021
Public-private partnerships key to providing high-quality broadband to all
Maine is #50 in the U.S. with respect to choice of internet service providers (ISPs). Not coincidentally, Maine residents pay among the highest average rates for some of the worst service in the U.S., with huge areas of the state not covered by broadband or, in some cases, even old-fashioned internet DSL cable.
July 23, 2021
OTELCO announces fiber internet expansion to Scarborough
Telecommunications provider OTELCO announced on July 1 that the business is investing in fiber internet infrastructure in Maine communities, including Scarborough. OTELCO is making a $33 million investment in fiber-to-the-premise infrastructure, and Scarborough could see this in about 1,650 locations throughout the town, the company said.
July 21, 2021
Commissioners talk federal funding usage
The Hancock County Commissioners agreed that providing funding for broadband access in Hancock County was a top priority. The board directed County Administrator Scott Adkins to find a broadband consultant to help the county filter through anticipated funding requests for broadband projects.
July 21, 2021
OTELCO announces fiber internet expansion to Cape Elizabeth
Telecommunications provider OTELCO announced on July 1 that it is investing in fiber internet infrastructure in Maine communities, including Cape Elizabeth. OTELCO is making a $33 million investment in fiber-to-the-premise infrastructure, and Cape Elizabeth could see this in about 2,400 locations throughout the town, the company said in a news release.
July 20, 2021
Group tasked with bringing high-speed internet access to Maine sworn in
Lawmakers have decided on leadership for a new broadband agency equipped with $150 million and tasked with a mandate to achieve universal high-speed internet in Maine. Governor Janet Mills swore in seven members of the board of directors for the recently established Maine Connectivity Authority
July 18, 2021
Wiscasset comp planners hear call for fiber
Get a broadband committee and learn from and maybe work with other towns on fiber, three people advised Wiscasset July 14. The town has internet service, but that and Wiscasset’s relatively low density make upgrading to fiber harder, Maine Broadband Coalition co-founder Carla Dickstein and Midcoast Internet Coalition’s Matt Seigel told the comprehensive plan committee over Zoom.
July 18, 2021
America needs better broadband access
As the United States begins to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, we have an opportunity to see where our systems were stressed, and identify ways to build back better. Broadband access for Maine’s rural communities is one of the investments we can make now that will pay dividends far into the future.
July 16, 2021
Sen. Angus King highlights broadband access as key component in infrastructure plan
Senator Angus King is working alongside fellow lawmakers to pass President Biden’s trillion dollar bipartisan infrastructure plan. The current framework roughly doubles spending on transportation and infrastructure over the next eight years. While the framework would make improvements to things like roads, bridges and public transit, King says he sees broadband access as a key component of the plan.
July 16, 2021
Aroostook forming committee to evaluate broadband expansion
A committee to consider the future of broadband in Aroostook County is looking for more participants from across the region as it begins an evaluation of how to expand high-speed internet access. The committee formed after a late-June meeting between representatives from local businesses and government, the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development and U.S. Sen. Angus King, I-Maine. The effort is being led jointly by Paul Towle of Aroostook Partnership and County Administrator Ryan Pelletier as a public-private endeavor.
July 16, 2021
Muni Broadband Wave Washes Across Massachusetts
We have covered on numerous occasions the fiber-to-the-home boom underway in the rural hill towns of western Massachusetts. Now we are seeing a number of communities around the Boston metro area in the eastern part of the Commonwealth, as well as in other of the more populous towns and cities across Massachusetts, exploring the possibility of building their own community broadband networks.
July 14, 2021
U.S. lawmakers discuss bill to expand broadband in rural Maine
Lawmakers in Washington, D.C. discussed a plan to expand broadband in some of the more rural areas of Maine Wednesday. It's called the Broadband Internet Connections for Rural America Act. It would authorize almost $50 billion to help build and shore up critical broadband infrastructure.
July 14, 2021
Peninsula broadband committees issue RFP to expand access
Broadband committee representatives and officials from Blue Hill, Brooksville, Deer Isle and Penobscot have united for the common purpose of improving broadband (high-speed internet) access in their communities. The group has released a request for proposals for the construction of a Fiber to the Premises network, a significant milestone in the effort to make fast, affordable and reliable internet available to every household and business in the affiliated towns. The RFP is available at https://www.peninsulautility4broadband.org/rfp.html.
July 14, 2021
Municipal broadband coalitions across Maine have support from Senators Susan Collins and Angus King
The flow of federal money to the states for broadband expansion has energized the Midcoast – and Maine – and municipalities have been amping up their efforts to improve internet access for their own citizens. But how to access funds is keeping community organizers on their toes, as they advocate for small towns before the more powerful national and state political interests.
Los Angeles Times
July 12, 2021
View from Away: Close the digital divide, but don’t trap people in the slow lane
As important as it is to bring broadband service to areas that have none, we can’t ignore the parts of the country stuck with inadequate networks built for the days before widespread video streaming, videoconferencing, telemedicine and virtual offices. Make sure that the new networks built with these dollars won’t grow quickly obsolete. Networks that are largely based on fiber optics, including modern cable TV, fiber-to-the-premises and “small cell” wireless services, can add speed and capacity over time without requiring a major overhaul.
July 9, 2021
Biden Signs Executive Order on Net Neutrality, Broadband Pricing Policy and Big Tech Merger Scrutiny
President Joe Biden announced his intent to sign an executive order addressing an array of 72 initiatives, including net neutrality, and generally taking aim at big telecom and tech companies to address competition in the economy. Biden’s order also tackled the digital divide more broadly. It pointed to the 200 million Americans that live in regions with only one or two internet service providers and stated that this contributes to inflated internet service prices up to five times higher than in areas with more than two ISPs.
July 9, 2021
Officials in The County are looking for people interested in being a part of a broadband committee
Officials in The County are looking for people interested in being a part of a broadband committee. Paul Towle is President and CEO of the Aroostook Partnership, he and county commissioner Ryan Pelletier are working on creating this committee.
July 8, 2021
Broadband: FCC Should Analyze Small Business Speed Needs
According to the Federal Communications Commission, 96% of the U.S. population has access to broadband—an always "on" internet connection—at or above the FCC's benchmark for minimum speed. (Access rates are lower in rural areas and we previously found overall access may be overstated.) Much of the literature GAO reviewed suggests that FCC's current broadband minimum benchmark speeds—25 megabits per second (Mbps) for downloading and 3 Mbps for uploading—are likely too slow to meet many small business speed needs.
July 5, 2021
Maine’s local governments in no rush to spend pandemic relief funds
Maine’s local governments are set to receive more than half a billion dollars of pandemic-related federal relief funds, but most have yet to develop any major plans for investing the unprecedented windfall. Funding is intended to support urgent responses to the pandemic, replace lost government revenue, provide local economic relief and be invested in water, sewer and broadband infrastructure.
July 4, 2021
DVFiber picks Great Works Internet to expand broadband access
A group representing 24 communities in three Vermont counties announced it entered into a memorandum of understanding with internet service provider Great Works Internet of Biddeford, Maine, in partnership with ValleyNet of Royalton, to secure broadband access for every home and business in its district.
July 2, 2021
Five-year economic strategy for Maine's Eastern Region cites challenges, resilience
The five-year Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy for the state's Eastern Region, released by the EMDC Thursday, targets broadband, transportation, climate resilience, workforce and education, and business as the goal areas to focus on. The plan calls for expanding and increasing accessibility and affordability of broadband capacity, including creating a broadband committee, doing a regional needs assessment, and increasing and improving access.