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Senator Collins Announces More than $271 Million to Expand Broadband Access in Maine

Senator Collins was a member of the core group of 10 Senators who negotiated the infrastructure package, which includes money for broadband expansion in Maine

Senator Collins co-authored the bill’s broadband provisions with Senator Shaheen

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Susan Collins, Vice Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, announced that the Maine Connectivity Authority was awarded $271,977,723.07 in federal funding from the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) program. This investment is funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and will support Maine’s strategic goal of providing universal broadband access throughout the state. Senator Collins was part of the core group of 10 Senators who negotiated the text of the bipartisan infrastructure law.

U.S. Department of Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo notified Senator Collins this morning that Maine would receive more than $271 million in BEAD funding.

“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.”

Senator Collins co-authored the broadband section of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Actwith Senator Jeanne Shaheen and worked closely with Secretary Raimondo to negotiate the provisions. The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) includes $65 billion to expand access to broadband in communities nationwide. The largest broadband program in the infrastructure bill is the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) Program which provides $42.45 billion to expand high-speed internet access across the country. Maine will be awarded more than $271 million of those funds. 

The bipartisan infrastructure law is expected to deliver approximately $2.5 billion to Maine over the next five years for critical broadband, transportation, energy, and environmental projects. In December 2022, Maine received $5.5 million to plan for the deployment and adoption of broadband service throughout the state. Earlier this month, the Maine Connectivity Authority was awarded $30 million in federal funding from the bill’s Middle Mile Broadband Infrastructure grant program.