Mapping broadband service helps customers know where broadband is available, and it helps grant applicants identify potentially unserved areas. ConnectMaine continues to work with providers to collect accurate data at finer scales. To that end areas lacking broadband service were listed by street addresses in excel spreadsheets in 2019. These Unserved Reports were used as a starting point for identifying unserved areas for grant eligibility. There will be future opportunities to submit data about the availability or lack of broadband service, toward improving depiction of unserved areas. ConnectMaine makes no warranty for use of this information for purposes other than those communicated herein.
The inaccuracy of data is in part due to the way information is reported to ConnectMaine. To address this, we are asking Mainers to take a speed test through a project of the Maine Broadband Coalition. Submitting this information allows ConnectMaine to improve our understanding of the broadband service in Maine.
While this map is the best information on broadband availability in Maine, ConnectMaine knows the information doesn’t represent the actual services that are available to individual customers. This map is intended to provide a starting point for customers to identify what broadband service might be available in their communities: https://maps.sewall.com/connectme/public/
Opportunity to Review
At its June meeting, the ConnectMaine Authority discussed announcing the next opportunity to request review areas at the same time as it opens the next round of broadband infrastructure grants. Potential applicants would be given 14 days to propose project areas. In the meantime, ConnectMaine welcomes any data on broadband availability in Maine to improve its mapping, which can be submitted by email to Connect.ME@maine.gov with the subject heading Broadband Data. More detail, including acceptable data, is contained in the process for identifying unserved areas (pdf).
Designation of unserved areas occurs at least annually and is subject to a thirty-day comment period. At its April meeting, the ConnectMaine Authority approved the use of 50/10mbps for the designation of unserved areas, and the designation of broadband service as at least 100/100mbps. More detail about this designation is covered in the memo on broadband service (pdf). The ConnectMaine Authority confirmed these decisions at an emergency June meeting. Previously, unserved areas were those where broadband service at a level of at least 25mbps download and 3mbps upload is unavailable.
Public guest WiFi access points can be identified with the Study From Your Car Initiative, which will be kept up to date at least through the 2020-2021 school year.
The Maine School and Library Network provides internet access to its members; the E-Rate Funded Services map depicts information pulled from applications to the FCC.