High-speed Internet access and equitable distribution are key to the future of economic development in the region. Internet access has been hailed as the civil rights issue of the 21st century, and for a good reason. More Americans are online than ever before. We use the Internet to access healthcare, education, entertainment, and, increasingly, to do our jobs. Unfortunately, the Internet is not universally accessible to everyone in the nation and in the region.
Getting the Internet to every individual is foundational to promoting opportunity, and to empowering individuals and communities. The Internet should be as ubiquitous as water, sewer, and electricity access. Every resident should have access, and every community should be covered. A digital divide separates those in the region who have reliable high-speed access and devices, and those who do not - poorer and rural communities. Digital equity is as important a tool for growth and stability in communities as access.
Regional, State, and National Broadband Resources
Maine Connectivity Authority
Established in 2021, the Maine Connectivity Authority (MCA) is a quasi-governmental agency charged with achieving the universal access of affordable high-speed broadband in Maine. Led by an experienced staff and board appointed by The Governor, the MCA will work to ensure three goals: That effective, accessible connectivity be universally available in the state; that there be secure, affordable, reliable, competitive, sustainable and forward-looking infrastructure that can meet future needs; and that all residents, businesses and institutions in Maine be able to take full advantage of the economic, health, educational and other opportunities available through connectivity services.
Learn more here: https://www.maineconnectivity.org/
Maine Broadband Coalition
Representing hundreds of organizations, dozens of communities and thousands of internet users - MBC is the hub of information, policy support, and capacity building around broadband/high speed internet in Maine.
Learn more here: https://www.mainebroadbandcoalition.org/
National Digital Equity Center
The National Digital Equity Center provides communities at all levels the expertise needed to mobilize broadband technologies through digital inclusion, literacy efforts, education, resource planning, funding research, infrastructure leveraging and stakeholder engagement.
Learn more here: https://digitalequitycenter.org/