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ConnectME Authority Announces Seventh Round Broadband Grants
March 27, 2012
The ConnectME Authority is pleased to announce the seventh grant round of our broadband infrastructure funding program. We are looking for creative solutions for expanding affordable broadband service to the unserved areas of Maine. For this round, we are again requesting smaller, focused proposals, with a suggested grant limit for each project of $100,000, funding no more than 50% of the total project, while recognizing that we can be flexible for exceptional proposals.
We require that prospective applicants indicate in their pre-application letter that they have communicated with nearby incumbent or existing broadband service providers for current and future plans for expansion in the proposed project area. The intent of this contact is to minimize overlap and challenges, and to prevent ConnectME Authority funds from being used in areas where private investment is or will deliver broadband service.
Please review the ConnectME Authority Rule and Statute, which can be found online at http://www.maine.gov/connectme/. Pay particular attention to Section 6(D) of the rule which describes the application and evaluation process. Please be aware that the Authority has stated its primary funding activities will be targeted at areas where residents do not currently have access to terrestrial broadband service, as defined by the Authority. Ideally, each project should be capable of providing broadband service to all residents of the target area.
The Maine State Legislature recognizes the importance of making broadband services available throughout our entire State. Future economic opportunities depend on our ability to have these services affordable and available to all residents of Maine. While many providers have made great strides in most parts of the State, we must seek ways to encourage deployment in all of our unserved areas.
Instructions for preparing the pre-application letter are posted on our website at www.maine.gov/connectme/connectgrants/round7.shtml.
The pre-application letter is due back to the Authority by April 2, 2012. Note the links to our new definition of broadband service for grant funding purposes and to our online broadband availability map.
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- Email: Connect.ME@maine.gov