ME Bill Would Increase High Speed

High speed internet in Maine may become more available to underserved communities with new legislation in the state House of Representatives that would issue bonds providing funds for localities that build infrastructure for high speed internet development.

The bill, HP 189, would make available $2 million in bonds and will focus on creating the necessary infrastructure for high speed internet service in underserved and rural communities.  The public sector is working to build infrastructure that will create the demand for private companies to provide service.

The new bill falls into Gov. John Elias Baldacci's (D) plans to increase high speed internet access with the goal of reaching 90% of Maine residents by 2010.  In order to oversee his plan, Baldacci established the ConnectME Authority to explore strategies for increasing availability of broadband.  The authority will receive funds from the universal service fund as well as USDA rural development money.

Actions by the Maine state government are helping to overcome the digital divide and bring high speed internet to new communities through public-private partnerships, similar to efforts underway in Kentucky and Tennessee.

An Act To Authorize a General Fund Bond Issue To Encourage Municipal High-speed Internet Access 


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