The ConnectMaine Authority awards planning grants to develop plans for expanding the availability of broadband service. These grants are awarded in two phases:
Phase I is intended to begin the process of building community-wide support for expanding broadband service. The Plan generated will define local broadband needs and goals, inventory the existing infrastructure assets, include a gap analysis defining the additional broadband infrastructure necessary to meet identified needs and goals and include assessment of relevant municipal procedures, policies, rules and ordinances. The Plan should also include a strategy to promote digital inclusion that addresses affordable internet service and equipment, digital literacy and public computer access.
Phase II is intended to take the community to the next step in planning for expanded broadband service. The Feasibility Study generated will stipulate the community’s broadband needs and goals, include the inventory and gap analysis of broadband infrastructure, provide one or more network designs and cost estimates, identify operating and business models based on input from broadband service providers and include assessment of relevant municipal procedures, policies, rules and ordinances. The feasibility study should also include information from any other parties that submit a network design solution during this planning process.