ConnectMaine Awards Broadband Grants to Seven Maine Communities

June 2, 2020

Infrastructure grants will bring universal service to the towns of Argyle, Bremen and Hudson. Planning grants awarded to Litchfield, East Grand Lake Region, Swans Island, and Sanford

ConnectMaine Authority announced today that its Board has approved $554,500 in grants to seven communities across Maine for broadband infrastructure and planning. ConnectMaine is providing infrastructure grants to the communities of Argyle, Bremen and Hudson, bringing fiber-optic service to 982 locations in those three communities. The grants are matched by $1,187,005 from the communities being served and the ISP building out the broadband service. 

ConnectMaine is also providing $53,250 in grants to Swans Island, Litchfield, East Grand Lake Region and Sanford for community broadband planning. These grants are designed to help engage communities, identifying needs and engage potential broadband service providers to expand the availability of broadband to their area. These grants are matched by $63,250 from the communities seeking funding.

“Broadband is critical t   o spur innovation, create opportunity, provide telehealth and remote learning, and build a strong, diverse economy – especially in rural Maine,” said Governor Janet Mills. “The COVID crisis has highlighted the importance of a good high-speed connection for remote work, and supporting small businesses. One of the highest priorities of my administration is to expand our state’s broadband infrastructure. These grants from ConnectMaine are a step in that direction by leveraging local and private investment to bring high-speed connectivity to these communities.” 

The ConnectMaine Authority was created by the legislature in 2006 to make a secure, reliable, competitive and forward-looking broadband infrastructu  re and make broadband service universally available. It is funded by a small assessment on land lines and broadband services to customers in Maine, with an annual budget of just over $1.5 million.

Infrastructure grants awarded to:

Project/ISP Potential Connections Total Project Cost ConnectMaine Grant Community/Industry Match
Argyle/Otelco  134 $325,000 $81,250 $243,750
Bremen/LCI 400 $600,435 $120,000 $480,435
Hudson/Premium Choice 448 $762,820 $300,000 $462,820