WATERVILLE — The state will obtain $5.5 million in federal funds to broaden reasonably priced and dependable high-speed Web service in Maine, primarily concentrating on rural and tribal communities within the state, officers stated Thursday.
Maine is the primary state to obtain the cash underneath the Web-for-All initiative promoted by President Joe Biden’s administration. The initiative is a part of the bipartisan Infrastructure Act permitted final yr that earmarks $65 billion to enhance broadband infrastructure to offer each American entry to high-speed Web service.
The funding for Maine was introduced at a rally at Thomas Faculty in Waterville attended by Governor Janet Mills and Andrew Butcher, chairman of the Maine Connectivity Authority. The funding announcement was April McClain-Delaney, Administrator of the Nationwide Telecommunications and Data Administration.
McClain-Delaney stated NTIA officers visited Blue Hill in April and introduced a grant for the authority that would supply Web service to almost 12,000 houses statewide. However McClain-Delaney stated after the go to that she felt extra wanted to be executed for rural and tribal Maine particularly.
“You should not have to decide on between residing within the place you grew up and love, and the job you need…” she stated. “Because of this bipartisan infrastructure regulation, we lastly have the assets to repair it.”
She stated the $5.5 million will go towards rolling out high-speed web throughout the state, figuring out which communities want federal funds essentially the most and the best way to join them. A number of the cash might be used for coaching to navigate a digital financial system.
“Planning grants might not sound so thrilling, however in actuality, they’re transformational and important,” McClain-Delaney stated.
Mills stated the funding lays the groundwork for his promise to supply everybody in Maine who desires an web reference to entry to a connection by the tip of 2024.
The web, she stated, is “our new river of commerce, connecting the folks of Maine to the world.”
Thursday’s announcement got here at Thomas as a result of the faculty is internet hosting a two-day convention referred to as Maine Broadband Summit.
Mills and the Maine legislature established the authority final yr. Butcher stated Thursday the authority will direct federal cash to its 13 regional broadband companions to start the method of increasing broadband service.
This story might be up to date.
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