Guiding Principles of the Maine Broadband Coalition

Who we are:

The Maine Broadband Coalition is a group dedicated to improving Maine’s economy and quality of life through building one of the best network infrastructures in the country.  To do that we asking businesses of all types, non-profit organizations economic development organizations, municipalities, municipal organizations, libraries, health centers,  councils of government, individuals and others to join us in achieving this goal. Building a superior network is a big job and we will need help from all vendors and all segments of society. Everyone is part of the solution and everyone should benefit from solving the problem.

  1. We are technology neutral. Technology is a tool to solve problems, not a goal in and of itself.
  2. We strive to improve the network of all of the State of Maine, not one particular region or population segment.
  3. The job is not finished unless all of the State has a superior network.
  4. Technology is constantly improving; therefore, the bar is constantly being raised. This is a long-term effort and the coalition is in it for the long term.

The problem:

  1. Maine as a state lags the rest of the country in quality of communications infrastructure, not just rural regions.
  2. This lag has a widespread negative effect on Maine’s economy in all regions.
  3. Raising the quality of Maine’s communications infrastructure to be superior will draw people and investment to Maine, particularly in rural regions where the quality of life is otherwise high.
  4. Private businesses providing internet services do not find it profitable to invest in broadband in rural, thinly populated areas. They need subsidies, just as rural electrification and universal service subsidies were required for power and phone.
  5. Infrastructure is a shared resource and it is inefficient and ineffective to treat one region in isolation.
  6. The State’s investment’s in communications infrastructure should be routed through the ConnectME Authority, but only after the Authority is strengthened by addition of technical staff and independence from industry.

What we will do:

  1. Advocate for bills that improve the structure and funding of ConnectME to support the expansion of broadband statewide.
  2. Advocate for bills that seek to build networks that serve communities, and all within those communities.
  3. Improve the data collection on broadband across the state – with real, street level data.
  4. Build a strong coalition to accomplish the goals of building a quality communications infrastructure across Maine.
  5. Publicize the stories of  those who do not access to broadband to demonstrate the state wide need, and potential impact of creating a strong, fast broadband network statewide.

What we are asking:

  1. Join us, share your stories.
  2. Talk to your town officials, legislators and others about the importance of creating broadband infrastructure that supports individuals, communities, and businesses statewide
  3. Testify on specific legislation that moves Maine forward towards that goal.
  4. Talk with your local newspaper, write letters to the editor and other local efforts to emphasis the importance of high speed broadband in Maine’s many communities.

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