The largest Federal investment Maine has ever received for broadband expansion is made possible by Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and will help Maine reach Governor Mills' statewide connectivity goal
Governor Janet Mills on Monday, June 26, 2023 praised an announcement by the Biden-Harris Administration that Maine will receive $272 million to expand high-speed internet access under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law â" the largest grant award Maine has ever received to build out broadband internet.
The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced Monday that Maine will receive $271,977,723 over the next five years from the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) Program.
The program is part of the Biden-Harris Administration's Internet for All initiative, which aims to eliminate barriers that keep people from taking full advantage of high-speed internet. The program expands high-speed internet access by funding planning, infrastructure deployment, and adoption programs.
"This grant funding is historic in scale, and it will be historic in impact," said Governor Janet Mills. "With this unprecedented Federal investment â" the largest we have ever received â" the Maine Connectivity Authority can take huge strides in bringing high-speed internet to more Maine people and in fulfilling my promise to make an internet connection available to everyone in Maine who wants one. I thank the Biden-Harris Administration for this award and the Maine Congressional Delegation for their support of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law that made this funding possible."
"Today's historic announcement of BEAD funding is a testament to how critical these investments are to connecting Mainers today and creating a place where we can thrive long into the future," said Andrew Butcher, President of the Maine Connectivity Authority. "This allocation is tens of millions more than anticipated due directly to our state's readiness, from the smallest volunteer broadband committee to our numerous private partners to the Governor's bold leadership and our Congressional Delegation's steadfast commitment."
Maine's funds will be deployed in alignment with the state's draft Five Year Action Plan and Digital Equity Strategy, which the Maine Connectivity Authority is seeking public feedback on at www.maineconnectivity.org/planning.
Today's announcement follows a $30 million grant awarded to Maine by the National Telecommunications Information Administration earlier this month for the construction of "middle mile" broadband infrastructure.
In 2021, Governor Mills signed landmark legislation creating the Maine Connectivity Authority to advance the deployment of affordable, high speed broadband access across Maine. As of June 2023, the agency has facilitated over $100 million in investments to enable over 53,000 connections across the state.