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Here's what federal money from the 2021 infrastructure law will fund in Maine

Jason Morisseau, a installation and maintenance technician with Waitsfield and Champlain Valley Telecom, uses a fusion splicer to install fiber optic cable that is being run to a home, in Concord, Vt., Feb. 10, 2022.
Wilson Ring
/
AP file
Jason Morisseau, a installation and maintenance technician with Waitsfield and Champlain Valley Telecom, uses a fusion splicer to install fiber optic cable that is being run to a home, in Concord, Vt., Feb. 10, 2022.

This week is federal 'Infrastructure Week' and states are getting word about projects and awards that are being funded through the bipartisan infrastructure law that was signed in 2021.

Maine has received a $272 million allocation through the federal Broadband Equity, Access and Deployment program (BEAD) to deliver high speed internet service to locations with no connection or unreliable access.

The White House said each state is currently working through a process to finalize plans to use the resources to connect every unserved and underserved home and business in their state to affordable and reliable high speed internet.

Maine's BEAD program this month is completing a data collection process to create a map of locations where the BEAD funding can be used. Local and Tribal governments, non-profit organizations and internet service providers are being encouraged to participate. Individuals can also weigh in by testing their internet speed at home.

The White House says this latest round of federal funding brings the total invested to upgrade internet service in Maine to more than $520 million dollars.

As of April, Maine has received $2.4 billion in federal funding for clean energy, transportation and water projects. White House Deputy Chief of Staff Natalie Quillian said at a press conference Friday that the funding rolls out over time and federal infrastructure commitments will run through 2026.

"To date, the president's administration has announced 56,000 projects and awards across 4,500 communities in all 50 states, DC and the territories," Quillian said.

The Wells-Ogunquit Community School District has won a $4.3 million dollar federal grant to replace 11 of the district's 12 buses with zero or low emission models. Assistant Superintendent Pierce Cole said it's part of the District's effort to lower greenhouse gas emissions.

"That was part of the consideration when we put our grant in. Didn't know if we were going to be chosen. It was a national campaign. We were one of the schools chosen here and we're looking forward to implementing that for our fleet," Cole said.

Cole said three of the buses have already arrived. He expects them all to be ready for the start of the next school year. Several other school districts including Pleasant Point, Dayton, and Winthrop Public Schools also won federal grants for clean school buses.

High-speed internet, airport terminal upgrades, and road and bridge projects were also funded.