Fed up with poor internet, rural Maine towns team up to tackle problem

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Tired of dealing with poor internet connectivity, city officials and residents of Piscataquis and Penobscot counties formed their own coalition to bring broadband to their areas. Now they have to find money and a supplier.

Four towns – Corinna, Dover-Foxcroft, Dexter and Garland – have already joined the Maine Highlands Broadband Coalition. People from Abbot, Bowerbank, Brownville and Monson attended a meeting earlier this week and may decide to join later.

Rural Maine communities struggle with uneven internet access, but there has been little momentum to develop solutions. With more people working remotely and needing access for school and telehealth, the lack of broadband means people aren’t getting the services they need. The coalition aims to bring affordable and reliable internet to all area citizens and businesses, said Chris Maas, a Dover-Foxcroft resident who is leading the effort.

“There are people in our area who don’t have electricity,” he says. “They want to live off the grid and they are happy. If they don’t want broadband, they don’t need to have it. But if they want him, he should be there for them.

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