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The Governor recently signed LD 1472: An Act to Lower the Costs of Broadband Service By Coordinating The Installation Of Broadband Infrastructure.

This bill requires public entities constructing or causing to be constructed certain construction projects to install or cause to be installed broadband conduit as part of the construction project.

Construction projects covered include projects to construct new or replace existing water or sewer lines in the right-of-way of a highway or public road; to construct a new highway or public road; or to construct or relocate an additional lane or shoulder for an existing highway or public road.

The bill authorizes public entities to lease the installed broadband conduit to broadband providers to install fiber-optic or other cables that support broadband and wireless facilities for broadband service.

The bill directs the ConnectME Authority, in collaboration with the Department of Transportation, to provide technical and educational assistance and requires the ConnectME Authority to maintain a map of broadband conduit installation in the State.

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