The Coastal Packet: Bill Would Create Public-Private Partnership to Expand Broadband in Maine

Thursday, April 27

Bill Would Create Public-Private Partnership to Expand Broadband in Maine

Maine Public Broadcasting - Lawmakers are considering a proposal to create a new public-private partnership to expand broadband access throughout the state. The legislation would create the Maine Broadband Initiative, which would be given authority to undertake planning for statewide broadband services and provide funding for needed facilities. Democratic state Sen. Shenna Bellows of Manchester sponsored the bill. “This initiative would have grant- and loan-making authority as well as the power to engage in revenue bonding. And under my legislation the Maine Broadband Initiative could and would pursue federal and private grants to then distribute them appropriately,” she says. Opponents argue that some areas of the state have no internet access and servicing them should have priority. “Let’s get those people who do not have service some service before we spend money moving somebody from 10 meg service up to 50 meg service,” says Tom Federle, testifying on behalf of Charter Communications.

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