Statewide Map of Broadband Availability
April 29, 2011
A comprehensive map of broadband availability in Maine is now available on the ConnectME Authority website. While the map is in Beta form and still needs some tweaking, it provides good results and will be useful for those contemplating grant applications.
In late 2009, the ConnectME Authority began a comprehensive mapping and inventory project to obtain more granular, Maine-specific information regarding broadband availability. We are working with the Office of Information Technology and the Maine Office of GIS to conduct a mapping project that will use a combination of provider and public data to refine our understanding of unserved areas of Maine.
In January 2010, the ConnectME Authority was awarded $1.8 million to fund a mapping and planning project from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) as part of its Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) funded under the Recovery Act. The grant funds facilitate a much more detailed and complete analysis of broadband than would have been possible with only the Authority’s modest resources. The ConnectME Authority issued a RFP that resulted in a contract with James Sewall Company of Old Town to conduct the broadband mapping and inventory project.
The Authority, in collaboration with industry service providers, state and federal agencies, and local communities, presents a searchable geographic map. The map indicates where broadband service is available from one or more technology platforms: fixed wire (DSL, cable modem), fixed or point-to-point wireless, and mobile or satellite wireless systems. The end product enables community leaders, consumers, and businesses to access information on service options and potential service providers for their locations of interest. Knowing where broadband is, also provides us with the more important information about where broadband is not.
We will shortly have available a gallery of pre-made maps in Adobe PDF format accessible to any who visit our site. The gallery will include maps of broadband availability by state legislative district; by town or city; by county; or others as requested. We will also have a confidential “portal” available for broadband service providers to access their own information.
All states (and territorial jurisdictions) received mapping and inventory Recovery Act funding to create online geographic broadband maps. Data from each state is sent to the NTIA for populating a nationwide broadband map also available to the public at http://broadbandmap.gov/.