Broadband Utility Districts

The Community Broadband Planning Support Program includes resources and assistance for communities that have chosen the operational structure of a Broadband Utility District in order to expand broadband service availability. ConnectMaine prioritizes assistance to communities that meet the following requirements:

  • At least four municipalities or local governments have undertaken the Community-Driven Broadband Planning Process;
  • Local government leaders have approved efforts to form a BUD; 
  • There's commitment that the BUD will take on the responsibility of digital equity and inclusion, including efforts to connect customers to the Affordable Connectivity Program or similar opportunities; and 
  • There's commitment to a broadband solution that will result in broadband service availability--service offerings will include 100mbps/100mbps at least.

Resources

State statutes allow organization and interlocal cooperation to establish a utility district for broadband services and issue revenue bonds

Assistance

For communities that have decided to establish and use a Broadband Utility District to expand broadband availability, ConnectMaine staff will coordinate outreach for technical assistance needed. 

Grants

The legal fees and other costs involved in establishing a Broadband Utility District are eligible project costs under ConnectMaine Community Broadband Planning Grants. ConnectMaine aims to ensure availability of Broadband Infrastructure Grants for BUD applicants.