Tuesday, April 25, 2017
Contact: Peggy Schaffer, Small Business Advocate 626-8410 or

Maine Broadband Coalition to urge support of internet connectivity bills

AUGUSTA – The Maine Broadband Coalition will hold a press conference on Wednesday, April 26, to address the need for action this legislative session to improve Maine’s internet connectivity. The press conference will take place at 9 a.m. in Augusta, at the Maine Statehouse Welcome Center.

The Maine Broadband Coalition is an informal federation of public policy professionals, educational institutions, businesses, non-profit organizations and individuals with an interest in Maine’s economic future. The coalition gathers information for legislators to demonstrate how investing in world-class telecommunications infrastructure will draw people and investments to Maine.

Featured speakers will include Speaker of the House Sarah Gideon, Sen. Shenna Bellows and several coalition members: Stephanie MacLagan of the Island Institute, Chris Winstead of the Piscataquis Economic Development Corporation, John Hafford of Design Lab in Millinocket, and Danny Sullivan of Woodland Mill in Woodland.

Members of the Maine Broadband Coalition and legislators will be available to answer questions about the impact of broadband expansion in Maine communities.

Following the press conference, three bipartisan bills related to broadband will have public hearings in the Energy, Utilities and Technology Committee:

  • LD 1399: An Act to Encourage Broadband, sponsored by Sen. Bellows;
  • LD 1372: An Act To Increase Broadband Access for Rural Communities, sponsored by Rep. Erin Herbig; and
  • LD 1472: An Act To Lower the Costs of Broadband Service by Coordinating the Installation of Broadband Infrastructure, sponsored by Rep. Andrew McLean. 

These three bills, along with an additional eight related bills before the legislature this session, represent a comprehensive legislative agenda, from lowering the cost of broadband installations to expanding access and use of telemedicine.