Broadband Mapping and Inventory Project

Universal Service Fund (USF) Assessment - A Study on the Impacts and Opportunities of USF Reforms in Maine - July 30, 2014
USF Assessment full report (43 MB)
USF Assessment email version (5 MB)
USF Assessment Executive Summary
Press Release

Commissioned by the Authority in November 2013, this study was conducted by James W. Sewall Company to evaluate the existing and potential impacts of the FCC’s reforms on the USF in Maine; assess the strength of Maine’s positioning for USF support, identifying the potential gap in Maine’s future funding resources; and provide recommendations for the Authority and other stakeholder agencies to consider in developing Maine strategy, policy and programs that align with future USF funding opportunities. Funded under the Future Leading Practices component of the American and Reinvestment Act grant received by the Authority in 2009, the study drew upon the complex library of publicly available information and the guidance of several recognized experts in the various USF programs to complete the analysis and develop informed recommendations.

Background on Mapping Grant

In 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 NTIA as part of its BTOP program 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 grant amount is approximately $1.3 million for broadband data collection and mapping activities over a two-year period and nearly $440,000 for broadband planning activities over a five-year period in Maine, bringing the total grant award to nearly $1.8 million. The ConnectME Authority issued a RFP that resulted in a contract with James Sewall Company of Old Town (Sewall) to conduct the comprehensive broadband mapping and inventory project.

In 2010 Sewall, in collaboration with industry service providers, state and federal agencies and local communities, developed a searchable geographic map. The map indicates where broadband service is available from one or more technology platforms: fixed wire, 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. All states received mapping and inventory Recovery Act funding to create online geographic maps. Data from each state is sent to the NTIA for populating a nationwide broadband map expected to be made available to the public in February 2011.