Broadband task force members appointed

Posted Nov. 02, 2011, at 6:07 p.m.

AUGUSTA, Maine — The Maine State Planning Office on Wednesday released the names of eight people assigned to its Broadband Capacity Building Task Force, which is tasked with finding ways to expand the availability of high-speed Internet in rural Maine.

In August, Warren Cook, former CEO of Saddleback Mountain Resort and co-founder of Maine Network Partners, was tabbed to chair the task force.

The remaining eight members are:

  • Edwina Ducker, rural health manager for the Maine Office of Rural Health and Primary Care.
  • Kenneth Fletcher, director of Maine’s Office of Energy Independence and Security.
  • Allyson Handley, president of the University of Maine at Augusta.
  • George Hogan, senior vice president and chief information officer for Wright Express.
  • Christopher Jerome, senior vice president of Risk Operations at Unum.
  • Peter Mills, executive director of the Maine Turnpike Authority and a former lawmaker.
  • Bob Montgomery-Rice, executive vice president of Bangor Savings Bank.
  • Ryan Pelletier, director of work force development for the Northern Maine Development Commission.

Gov. Paul LePage and cabinet members endorsed Wednesday’s appointments.

“The expansion of broadband capacity in the state will help accomplish one of our major initiatives, which is work force attraction and economic development for Maine,” the governor said in a statement.

The Broadband Capacity Building Task Force will examine current practices in the fields of health care, education and economic development, identify obstacles to greater use and recommend policies for change.

The task force is staffed by the Maine State Planning Office and will operate with funding support from the ConnectME Authority, a recipient of a grant from the National Telecommunications and Information Authority, or NTIA, under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

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