Guiding Principles of the Maine Broadband Coalition

RATIONALE

Broadband is essential infrastructure for the long term well-being of Maine communities and businesses and quality of life for people across the state.  It is vital to the state’s ability to advance:

  • economic and community development  
  • telehealth and aging in place
  • education
  • commerce
  • civic and social engagement
  • improved government services and delivery

MISSION:

The Maine Broadband Coalition gives voice to internet users across the state to secure universal, affordable and equitable access to broadband connectivity that serves both current and future needs.

 STRATEGY

The Maine Broadband Coalition advances its mission through:

  • Advocacy – We lead statewide and national engagement, education, and lobbying centered on the importance of expanded connectivity for all Maine residents. Users must have a strong voice in this work.
  • Community Capacity Building – We share information, resources, and knowledge to increase the ability of community leaders to understand, plan for, and implement broadband expansion and inclusion initiatives.

 GUIDING BELIEFS

The Maine Broadband Coalition work is  guided by the following core beliefs:

  • Affordable, reliable, high-quality broadband service is essential for the viability of communities across Maine
  • Broadband is a vital foundation economic AND Community development — but is not a solution in an of itself
  • Geography, demographics, and income should not determine access
  • Success will require experimentation, innovation and multiple flexible approaches
  • Strong community leadership is a precondition to public investments
  • We will learn from each others’ successes and failures (not reinventing wheels)
  • Broadband speed standards will change over time and rural Maine should be at least as good as average service in urban areas nationally
  • Scarce public resources must be deployed effectively to address needs and build long-lived, state of the art investments that encourage competition.
  • Private companies have an important role to play in developing and running broadband networks
  • Market forces and private investment alone will not deliver universal broadband

APPROACH

In its collaborative work, the Maine Broadband Coalition seeks to:

  • Give voice to users
  • Champion community-led solutions and innovation
  • Advance state of the art technology for rural Maine
  • Identify and facilitate strategic deployment of public and private funding with defined public benefit for public investments
  • Collaborate for statewide engagement and outcomes
  • Advocate for equity in access (high-quality broadband for all) AND affordability
  • Encourage open debate and discussion to arrive at informed solutions.

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 emphasize the importance of high-speed broadband in Maine’s many communities.

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