Expanding access to high-speed Internet is essential for the long-term well-being of Maine communities and businesses. Expansion is vital to the state’s ability to advance economic and community development, telehealth, education, commerce and civic engagement.
GPCOG hosts the Maine Broadband Coalition. Led by an advisory board of 26 organizations, the coalition is leading efforts to extend broadband access across Maine. Its projects include the Digital Frontiers webinar series and the Get Up To Speed Initiative, which has resulted in more than 22,000 speed tests.
The coalition is now organizing Regional Broadband Dialogues, an effort to facilitate informed and coordinated regional broadband investments so cities and towns can make the most of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding.
Broadband Efforts in Greater Portland and the Lakes Region
Many communities in Greater Portland and the Lakes Region have begun the process of improving connectivity for residents and businesses. GPCOG is deploying two Resilience Corps fellows to work with the towns of Harrison, Naples, Standish and Sebago.
Here's what some cities and towns in our region are doing:
The Harrison Broadband Advisory Committee is identifying deficiencies in coverage, reporting information to residents and providing the Board of Selectmen with guidance for infrastructure investment. Learn more.
To help understand the current level of service and how it needs to be improved, the Naples Broadband Committee is testing internet speeds and gathering information from residents and businesses. Learn more.
The Sebago Broadband Committee is working to provide reliable, consistent affordable internet services to all. The committee includes residents and people involved in education, local government, the library and home businesses. Learn more.
Standish is working with surrounding towns on developing a regional approach to expanding broadband.
Bridgton participated in the MaineWest Broadband Bootcamp and is currently working with surrounding towns on a regional approach to expanding broadband.
Raymond is working with Standish, Windham, and Gray to explore the possibility of bringing broadband internet service to the region. Learn more.
The Portland Broadband Planning Committee was formed in November 2020 to engage Casco Bay island residents in evaluating their collective interest in and needs related to broadband service. The committee will examine various broadband solutions and business models. It will also lead community education and engagement efforts to involve island residents in the development of one or multiple recommendations. Learn more.
Long Island Broadband Exploratory Committee is working to bring "true broadband access" to the island. The committee has mailed out a survey to residents and property owners and has been meeting with the town's internet provider, Consolidated Communications Inc. about the possibility of installing fiber in the home systems on the island. Learn more.
The Broadband Committee is working to determine funding opportunities and prepare proposals. Learn more.