An Axiom Technologies technician installs the first fiber at an Islesford home in this March 2018 file photo. A $1.2 million investment in broadband technology brought high-speed access to the Cranberry Isles. Credit: Courtesy of Island Institute

The coronavirus pandemic put more pressure on Maine’s internet infrastructure as homebound workers and students vied for broadband access, some of it already spotty in the most rural parts of the state.

By last April — only one month into the pandemic — some 85 percent of the state government’s workforce except for public safety positions was suddenly working from home, state data showed. Added to that were private businesses, students on all levels and an upsurge in streaming of Zoom calls and entertainment.

Even internet service providers predicted slowdowns or traffic jams that might be acceptable to occasional users, but not if you, your kids and your partner all need to get on at the same time. Access to fast internet is often cited as a necessity by teleworkers moving to the state.

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