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July 10, 2024

Collins, King Applaud NTIA Approval of Remaining $266 Million in Broadband Funding for the State of Maine

The initial award of nearly $272 million was authorized through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law which was supported by both senators

Washington, D.C. U.S. Senators Susan Collins, Vice Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, and Angus King, Co-Chair of the Senate Broadband Caucus, today applauded news that the remainder of the previously announced $271,977,723 in funding for the Maine Connectivity Authority (MCA) has been approved through the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s (NTIA) Broadband Equity, Access and Deployment (BEAD) program. In November 2022, Senator Collins and King announced that that MCA was awarded the first $5 million of this total through the BEAD program to support the development of its Five-Year Action Plan, which identifies Maine’s priorities for broadband and digital investments. The MCA will use this now approved $266,977,723 in remaining funding to expand high-speed internet access across Maine and to help close the broadband availability gap through its approved Five-Year Action Plan.

Funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, BEAD is a federal grant program that aims to get all Americans online by funding partnerships between states or territories, communities, and stakeholders to build infrastructure necessary for the increased adoption of high-speed internet. BEAD prioritizes unserved locations that have no internet access or limited access.

“Access to high-speed Internet is critical to the vitality of rural communities, which is why I have long championed expanding access to broadband across Maine,” said Senator Collins. “From spurring job creation to supporting telemedicine and education, the Internet unlocks almost endless benefits and possibilities. I co-authored the broadband section of the law to help bridge the digital divide between rural and urban areas, and I am pleased that this funding will help Maine make historic investments to extend its high-speed network to ensure that families have a reliable connection to their loved ones, co-workers, schools, and medical services.”

“In the 21st century, high-speed, affordable broadband is no longer a luxury — it’s a necessity,” said Senator King. “Families, students, small businesses and telehealth patients across Maine all rely on this critical service, especially those in rural communities. This investment from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law represents a huge step forward for the Maine Connectivity Authority as it works to close the digital divide across our state. I’m proud to see funding from this bipartisan bill continue to help rural Maine succeed.”

Senator Collins was part of the core group of 10 Senators who negotiated the text of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Senators Collins and King both worked to negotiate and pass this historic legislation, which will deliver billions of dollars to Maine for investments in broadband, roads, bridges, and more.


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