As the Maine Connectivity Authority gears up to create the state's Broadband Action Plan (BAP), they're looking for input from community members from around the state. The Broadband Action Plan is an integral step towards Maine securing federal grant dollars from the BEAD program and will ultimately inform how that money is allocated as we continue our collective effort to close the digital divide.
Throughout March and April we are partnering with the state to help collect feedback from Maine people: you! A draft plan will be released for public comment on June 1, 2023. A lot of work has happened already to identify assets in our communities that can help with affordability, devices, and digital skills training.
It’s important to ensure that we provide information about the barriers that keep us from fully connecting, so that we can begin to identify ideas for addressing those barriers. Here are a few ways that you can help today:
Take the Maine Broadband Survey:
You can take the survey online: Maine Broadband Survey
You can do the survey on paper by printing it out and mailing it back; see these instructions: Broadband Plan Details
You can request a survey mailed to you by calling MCA at 207-370-7439.
If you would like help taking the survey, let us know and we can ask you the questions and submit your answers in the online form.
You can email or call MCA with your feedback for the plan:
You can attend a community meeting.
Dates and locations are being confirmed and posted on the Maine Connectivity Authority website at www.maineconnectivity.org or you can call us or call MCA and we will share those details with you as they become available.
There are a couple things that I would like to point out regarding the survey. While it's important that the state hears from everybody, there are groups of folks who fall under the "covered population" definition that NTIA wants to see represented in the survey feedback and community meetings.
Covered populations are historically underrepresented groups that have disproportionally lower access to an affordable, high-quality internet connection. These groups include:
Individuals with disabilities
Children with disabilities
Individuals who are 60 years of age or older
Individuals with language barriers, including English learners and individuals with low levels of literacy
People of color
Individuals in that Eligible Entity who are incarcerated
NTIA also prioritizes feedback from populations who are unserved (less that 25/3 mbps) and underserved (between 25/3 and 100/20 mbps).
Taken altogether, some estimates put roughly 88% of Mainers into at least one of the categories above.
We also want to acknowledge that many in our membership are not only community members, but community leaders or involved with other organizations that serve their community. In an effort to make sure that this survey finds itself in the hands of every Mainer, we're asking folks to share it with their networks, neighbors, friends, and family.
This is the chance to have direct input into the broadband future of our state -- take action today!