Gov. Janet Mills announced Nov. 20, her administration has awarded $5.6 million in CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) monies to fund the construction of permanent internet infrastructure that will bring high-speed broadband to more than 730 students across rural Maine; Comcast got $77,000 of it to extend service to students living on unserved roads in Woolwich, Bath, Berwick and Kittery.
The awards are the result of a new Mills administration initiative, ConnectKidsNow! that brought together the state, school superintendents and several internet service providers to improve and expand internet access.
“Internet access is no longer a luxury, it is a necessity, and no child in Maine should be left out of the classroom because they can’t get online,” Mills said. This public-private partnership will make a significant difference by bringing broadband to more kids in more rural communities so they can stay connected to their teachers and to one another. Still, there is more work to do. As long as any Maine child struggles to learn because of a lack of internet access, I will continue to push for expanded broadband across the state of Maine.”