Connection to the internet is critically important to rural quality of life, prosperity, and community – especially now, as our daily activities become increasingly home-based.
Residents and businesses in many parts of Washington County lack reliable, fast internet service. These service gaps create barriers to access and opportunities in education, business and community growth, and social interaction. Improved access to reliable broadband internet is an essential tool for attracting and maintaining year-round populations and encouraging diverse economic growth in line with the culture of our Washington County communities.
Large companies invest very little in the infrastructure of rural areas with small populations. Rural Mainers are taking control of their own futures through community-driven solutions.
The Downeast Broadband Utility Model
Frustrated by slow speeds, high prices, unreliable connections and lack of availability for internet service, Washington County communities are taking the future of broadband in their communities into their own hands.
Sunrise County Economic Council recently hosted a solutions-based online discussion about community owned broadband.
The conversation highlights two local models – Downeast Broadband Utility (including Calais, Baileyville, Alexander, and Indian Township) and a partnership between the Town of Roque Bluffs and Axiom Technologies.
Two discussions were held at different times with the same information presented at each, followed by 30-minute question-and-answer period. Both discussions were recorded and can be listened to by clicking the links below:
December 7, 2021
December 9, 2021