Getting robust broadband to all parts of Aroostook County has been a challenge, but with new funding sources and strategic partnerships progress is being made.
Recently Aroostook Partnership, County of Aroostook, and Northern Maine Development Commission sponsored a webinar to look at the issue and think of steps forward.
The session, facilitated by Andrew Butcher of the Maine Broadband Coalition, featured Senator Angus King, Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Heather Johnson, and Dan Sullivan from the community owned Downeast Broadband Utility. The final segment featured public question and answers with Paul Towle, President and CEO of the Partnership and County Administrator Ryan Pelletier.
The webinar can be viewed at https://youtu.be/Xs7UvljtNNM.
Towle said there is a sense of urgency, as the funding will soon become available and with most federal and state programs it is first come, first served.
Maine was listed as one of the top 10 worst states for broadband coverage, according to a recent report by BroadbandNow Research.
The Federal Communications Commission estimates more than 11% of the state has little or no access to broadband service.