March 19, 2019
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Maine one of eight states chosen to update national broadband availability map

Community Author: Kate Foye, Department of Economic and Community Development
Post Date:

AUGUSTA Commissioner of the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development Heather Johnson announced today the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) has chosen ConnectME as one of eight initial partner states nationwide to broaden and update the national broadband availability map.

In 2018, Congress charged NTIA with creating and maintaining the National Broadband Map, a searchable, public database of information on broadband internet availability in the United States. The Map currently contains more than 25 million searchable records detailing where broadband service is available, the technology used to provide the service, maximum available speeds and the names of service providers among other information.

“This is a welcome announcement which will strengthen and expand ConnectME’s efforts to improve broadband access for Maine families, businesses and communities statewide,” said commissioner of the Department of Economic and Community Development, Heather Johnson. “Identifying gaps in high-speed internet coverage is the first step in ensuring every Mainer can access the tools they need to succeed and this in an important step in making that goal a reality.”

“In order to ensure that all Americans have access to broadband, we need a more precise picture of the current services and infrastructure that are available,” said David Redl, assistant secretary for Communications and Information and NTIA administrator. “NTIA’s work on an updated map, in partnership with these initial states, will help policymakers around the country make better decisions as they devise broadband expansion plans.”

In addition to Maine, California, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, Tennessee, Utah and West Virginia will contribute data and other inputs to improve the Map. According to NTIA, the eight states were chosen because they “reflect geographic diversity, participate in NTIA’s State Broadband Leaders Network, have active state broadband plans or programs, and were willing to contribute data that can be combined with nationwide data sources to give policymakers a deeper understanding of broadband availability.”

NTIA intends to seek participation from additional states. The initial map will include available nationwide data for every state in addition to the state-level data from the eight initial partner states.

The ConnectME Authority facilitates the universal availability of broadband to all Maine households and businesses and help them understand the valuable role it can play in enriching their lives and helping their communities thrive.