Message to Mainers: Internet for All

Published: Dec. 8, 2022 at 7:02 PM EST
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WATERVILLE, Maine (WABI) - Although it was a cloudy day in Waterville, an announcement made in one building promised to light the way to the future.

A future where all Mainers have access to the internet.

That was the big announcement to kick off the 2022 Maine Broadband Summit.

Governor Mills was at Thomas College with officials from The National Telecommunications and Information Administration and the Maine Connectivity Authority to announce a major step in the goal of getting internet for everyone in the state.

Mills said, “Today we kick off our broadband action planning process. I have pledged and I pledge again that every person in Maine who wants a reliable and affordable internet connection can have one by the end of 2024. That is my promise.”

They’re getting more than five million dollars in federal funding as part of President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

President of Maine Connectivity Authority, Andrew Butcher, says it’s a widespread issue that became even more apparent in the last couple of years.

Butcher said, “One of the silver linings of the pandemic is our collective recognition of just how reliant we are on high-speed internet broadband. Our demand for high speed internet is only increasing and so this is an opportunity for us to be strategic and intentional about making the most impact and benefit.”

They say the message to Mainers is, Internet for All.

Mills said, “High speed internet is as fundamental to us and to our society now as electricity heat water road systems it’s no longer a national luxury it’s a necessity.”

Maine Connectivity Authority has been working to get internet to those in rural areas. Through their work, this big step will lead to more Mainers online.

Butcher added, “This award for allows for us to invest in the process and the places that are going to be important to put together that map and to be comprehensive and how we think about it and everything from understanding what are our workforce needs to building out the capacity with organizations to do that community driven planning process.”