If the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that broadband access is essential in Maine. Today, it’s not easy to get high speed internet in many of our rural communities, which makes learning and working from home harder. Broadband connectivity helps Maine’s economy by developing a strong workforce, encouraging innovation, attracting new residents and businesses. It also supports our students and seniors who are spending more time at home.
Join us for this four-part virtual event series as we bring together policy makers, business leaders and educators who are charting the path forward for improving quality, cost and availability of high speed internet in Maine. Topic experts will help us learn something new and highlight where we are as a state when it comes to broadband connectivity — and where we could be in the future. Hosted by Bangor Daily News reporters and editors, sessions will include ample time for audience questions and discussion.
Thursday, Feb. 18 at 5 p.m.
Broadband Bond — What’s Next?
We passed a bond in July to borrow $15 million to invest in high speed internet infrastructure, aka broadband. It’s the first ever bond investment of its kind in Maine. So…what’s next?
Guest speakers: Nick Battista, chair of ConnectME; Kendra Jo Grindle, senior community development officer at Island Institute; Japhet Els, director of outreach at AARP; and Charlie Woodworth, executive director of the Greater Franklin Development Council.
Wednesday, Feb. 24 at 5 p.m.
Data Privacy, Security & Accessibility
How can you keep your data safe? What are the regulations around data privacy within the state? How can you access affordable internet and technology and who is there to help you?
Guest speakers: Lori Sussman from the Department of Technology at the University of Southern Maine and Kerem Durdag, COO of GWI.
Wednesday, March 10 at 5 p.m.
The Case for Connectivity — Broadband’s Impact on Education in Maine
What are schools, colleges and communities dealing with when it comes to making sure their students are connected online? What are the biggest issues and challenges across the state?
Guest speakers: Susan Corbett, director of the National Digital Equity Center; Jeff Letourneau, executive director of NetworkMaine at University of Maine; and Beth Lambert, policy director at the Maine Department of Education.
Thursday, April 22 at 5 p.m.
Get Connected — What Are the Connectivity Options Available for Mainers
The current broadband bond will not be able to meet the needs for all Mainers. What are the connectivity options available for those in need?
Guest speakers: Peggy Schaffer, executive director of ConnectME. Additional speakers to be announced.