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Business and Economy

$15M in grants awarded to help connect 6,000 more Maine homes to high speed internet

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Gabor Degre
/
Bangor Daily News

$15 million in grants have been awarded to eight broadband projects in Maine that will connect another 6,000 homes to high speed internet. The ConnectMaine Authority used its Broadband Intelligence Platform to find gaps in internet coverage on Chebeague Island, in Downeast and Midcoast Maine, and outlying areas of Oxford and Androscoggin Counties. Peggy Schaffer, Executive Director of The ConnectMaine Authority, said the projects are good investments.

"These are all fiber networks....all fiber to the homes," she said. "This is state of the art infrastructure that will last 30, 40, 50 years."

Schaffer said five are community-owned projects and three are private internet service providers, and all will need to cover additional costs of installation, bringing the total expenditure to more than $23 million. The ConnectMaine Authority is an arm of the state's economic and community development department, and plans to offer every household in the state the ability to connect to high speed internet by 2024.

The ConnectMaine Authority said it added 8,000 homes to the network last year, will add 6,000 more this year, and more than 30,000 over the next few years.