$1.4 million broadband grant to boost Washington County economy

By Sharon Kiley Mack, BDN Staff
Posted Sept. 13, 2010, at 11:31 a.m.

MACHIAS, Maine — “We’re just thrilled here,” Axiom Technologies founder Susan Corbett said Monday after it was announced by the U.S. Department of Commerce that the Machias-based company has been awarded $1.4 million for the expansion of broadband services in Washington County.

“This is so huge, just huge,” Corbett said.

Axiom Technologies plans to provide broadband education, training, access, equipment, and support to community-serving institutions and economically vulnerable populations in Washington County.

In addition, to address a health care worker shortage in the area, the project proposes to expand distance learning for health care professionals in partnership with the Central Maine Medical Center College of Nursing and Health Professions, with the goal of expanding the pool of local residents with associate degrees in nursing.

The project also intends to equip ten local farmers and ten local fishermen with wireless equipment and a rugged laptop as a pilot project to help local industries utilize broadband technology in the field and for small business and economic development purposes.

Corbett said a conference will be held at the University of Maine at 2 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 16, to provide more details on the project.

U.S. Rep. Michael Michaud announced the investment early Monday. The funding comes from the DOC’s National Telecommunications & Information Administration and totals $1,429,596 as part of the Recovery Act.

“Broadband represents a key part of the economic infrastructure that our state’s economy needs to grow and create jobs,” Michaud said in his announcement. “This project will help increase broadband adoption, provide valuable career training for Maine workers and help expand technology usage in our traditional industries like blueberry farming and commercial fishing.”

http://bangordailynews.com/2010/09/13/news/14-million-broadband-grant-to-boost-washington-county-economy/ printed on July 30, 2014