Spearheading unprecedented efforts to expand broadband:
In today’s world, access to affordable, high-speed internet is as fundamental as electricity, heat, and water. If we want a strong economy and thriving state, we’ve simply got to have it. That’s why Governor Mills has focused on expanding affordable, high-speed broadband across the state, especially in rural areas. Since taking office, she has:
- Launched A New Statewide Broadband Authority: Governor Mills proposed and signed into law the Maine Connectivity Authority, a new entity charged with achieving universal availability of high-speed broadband in Maine; appointed the Board; and swore in the Authority’s first President.
- Invested in High-Speed Broadband for First Time in More than a Decade: Governor Mills proposed and secured voter approval of a $15 million bond proposal for broadband, the first new investment in internet in years. That bond has already been used to fund broadband infrastructure in almost 11,000 locations.
- Targeted Federal Funds to Expand Connectivity: Governor Mills dedicated $21 million of federal funding to the Maine Connectivity Authority to complement $129 million in American Rescue Plan funding to expand broadband. With more than $150 million in investments from the Governor’s Maine Jobs and Recovery Plan and the federal American Rescue Plan, the Connectivity Authority is poised to significantly advance broadband access across Maine.
- Spearheaded a Mapping Project to Identify Areas of Inadequate Service: Governor Mills spearheaded a broadband mapping initiative to identify areas with inadequate service, determine the cost of building internet access in those areas, and detect barriers to expansion.
- Got Kids Online During the Pandemic: Governor Mills secured internet access for 14,494 students and internet accessible devices for 7,351 students to facilitate equitable access to online learning opportunities for Maine students during the pandemic. She also funded the construction of permanent internet infrastructure to bring high-speed broadband to more than 730 students across rural Maine during the pandemic.