WASHINGTON – The Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced that Maine received its first “Internet for All” grants for deploying high-speed Internet networks and developing digital skills training programs under the Biden-Harris Administration’s Internet for All initiative. Maine is receiving $5,542,222.32 in funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, signed by President Biden, to plan for the deployment and adoption of affordable, equitable, and reliable high-speed Internet service throughout the state.
"High-speed, affordable Internet service provides access to educational opportunities, telehealth services, and career opportunities that shouldn't be closed off because of lack of connection to the Internet," said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. "I thank Governor Mills for her commitment to bringing high-speed internet access to families and businesses throughout Maine." NTIA Deputy Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information April McClain-Delaney announced the grants today alongside Governor Janet Mills and the Maine Connectivity Authority (MCA) at Thomas College in Waterville, Maine.
“For our people, our economy, and our future, a high-speed Internet connection must be available to everyone in Maine who wants one – and that’s why I committed Maine to achieving that goal by the end of 2024,” said Maine Gov. Janet Mills. “Maine’s responsible use of these Federal funds – developed by the Maine Connectivity Authority – will help us reach that goal and make a real and positive difference in the lives of Maine people, especially those who live in our rural communities. I am excited by this opportunity, and I thank the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, Maine’s Congressional Delegation, and the Maine Connectivity Authority for helping make it possible.”
"Maine has invested in a community-driven broadband planning effort already recognized by NTIA in 2021 with a $28M project helping codify what it means to be ‘Ready to Connect.’ Our collective work and partnerships to date will allow us to accelerate the planning, stakeholder engagement, and data analysis required to invest infrastructure funds for broadband deployment and digital equity efforts with maximum impact. MCA and Maine stand ready to be a model for NTIA's innovative programs to ensure Internet for All," said MCA President Andrew Butcher.
All 50 U.S. states and six territories applied for planning grant funding for the Internet for All initiative's Broadband, Equity, Access and Deployment (BEAD) program and the Digital Equity Act program. Grant awards for all 56 eligible entities will be announced on a rolling basis.
About Maine’s Planning Grants
Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment Program
The BEAD Program provides $42.45 billion to expand high-speed Internet access by funding planning, infrastructure deployment and adoption programs.
Maine will receive $5 million to fund various activities including:
- Creation of an "All-in to get Internet for All (All-In Maine)" five-year high-speed Internet deployment plan;
- Workforce development and targeted research to accelerate education, training and employment opportunities for building high-speed Internet infrastructure;
- Efforts to engage, inform and capture ideas from Maine residents and communities on Maine's planning efforts;
- Surveys of unserved, underserved, and underrepresented communities to better understand barriers to high-speed Internet service adoption;
- Identification of underserved and unserved locations.
The Digital Equity Act provides $2.75 billion to establish three grant programs to ensure that all people and communities have the skills, technology, and capacity needed to reap the full benefits of our digital economy. The first part of NTIA’s execution of the Digital Equity Act is to fund digital equity planning efforts.
Maine will receive $542,222.32 to fund various activities including:
- Building capacity of Maine's new Digital Equity taskforce;
- Creation of a Maine statewide digital equity plan;
- Efforts to connect with health, education development, social services, climate resilience, and civic engagement organizations;
- Analysis of barriers and solutions to high-speed Internet service adoption.
Internet for All
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law includes a historic $65 billion investment to expand affordable and reliable high-speed Internet access in communities across the U.S. NTIA recently launched a series of new high-speed Internet grant programs funded by the law that will build high-speed Internet infrastructure across the country, create more low-cost high-speed Internet service options, and address the digital equity and inclusion needs in our communities.
Additionally, the Federal Communications Commission’s Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) provides a discount of up to $30 per month toward internet service for eligible households and up to $75 per month for households on qualifying Tribal lands. Visit AffordableConnectivity.gov to learn more.
For more information on the Biden-Harris Administration’s high-speed Internet service programs, please visit InternetforAll.gov.