Jose Luis Magana / AP File

Maine’s independent senator has joined a group of colleagues in calling for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to make it easier for tribal communities to get access to broadband internet.

Jacquelyn Martin / AP

The Maine Department of Education says it has secured nearly 22,000 devices to provide internet access to students across the state.

The COVID-19 crisis has led to an unprecedented demand for high-speed Internet in Maine, with people working from home, students learning remotely, patients seeing doctors virtually, and all sorts of online entertainment being accessed. How is our state's already limited broadband capacity meeting people's needs, and what is being done to improve broadband in Maine? What workarounds can people try for now, if they don't have sufficient Internet connectivity to function during this stay-at-home period?

AUGUSTA, Maine - Maine has enacted a law that supporters say will expand access to broadband in underserved parts of the state.

The Maine Legislature is considering an investment of $15 million in broadband internet in underserved parts of the state.

The proposal from Democratic Sen. Erin Herbig of Belfast would provide the money for broadband infrastructure to the state's ConnectME Authority. Herbig compared high-speed internet to other critical pieces of infrastructure such as electricity or roads. She said lack of access to broadband hurts education, economic development and telemedicine in rural parts of the state.

Census data show Maine is last in New England for access to high-speed internet.

Toby Talbot / AP File

Some 4500 rural homes and 215 businesses will soon have internet connections as part of a pilot USDA Rural Development project.

Toby Talbot / Associated Press/file

Legislation that would appropriate $15 million to the ConnectME Authority for broadband expansion across the state drew broad support Tuesday at a public hearing before the Legislature’s Energy, Utilities and Technology Committee.

Maine 2nd District Congressman Jared Golden will hold a field hearing in Machias Friday afternoon on the topic of helping rural communities get access to broadband service.

U.S. Sen. Susan Collins has introduced legislation that would provide $5 billion in matching grants to expand broadband access in rural areas of the country.

Mal Leary / Maine Public

Maine Gov. Janet Mills' administration is embarking on an effort to develop a far-reaching, ten-year economic plan for the state.

Author Susan Crawford's new book describes how fiber optic connections will enable us to send unlimited amounts of data, leading to radical advances in what we can do in health care, education, agriculture and daily communications.

She explains how giant corporations in the United States have held back the infrastructure improvements necessary for the country to move forward, and she describes how a few cities and towns are fighting to bring the fiber optic revolution to their communities.

Susan Sharon / Maine Public

Governor-elect Janet Mills joined members of the business community and Portland city officials Thursday to celebrate the launch of high-speed internet to 650,000 homes and businesses around the state, including parts of rural Maine.

Maine ranks 24 in the nation for high-speed internet access, but it is dead last in New England. New census data indicate that that rate varies widely among the state's counties.

We’ll hear from experts and entrepreneurs about ways to bring high-speed internet to all of Maine. This is in advance of the statewide 2018 Maine Broadband Coalition Conference, in which Maine communities and national experts will share lessons learned to date, look at new ways for solving shared challenges, and identify what’s next for broadband funding and policy in Maine.

Maine's U.S. senators are joining 61 of their colleagues in a call for the Federal Communications Commission to advance broadband services in rural America.

Republican Sen. Susan Collins and independent Sen. Angus King are joining other senators in sending a letter to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. The senators say improving accessibility of broadband is necessary to make sure rural residents have “access to high quality voice and broadband services.”

The senators say they support a recent order that addressed budget shortfalls in the Universal Service Fund's high-cost program.