Consolidated Communications won two grants totaling approximately $17 million in the Connect the Ready broadband funding program administered by the Maine Connectivity Authority. Four other providers, including TDS Telecom, won an additional $17 million in the program.

The funding will cover some of the costs of deploying broadband to unserved and underserved areas. Local communities and providers, collectively, will contribute an additional $17 million to the cost of the projects.

Local broadband provider Premium Choice Broadband won six grants totaling approximately $9 million in the program. The company was founded in 2007 and offers fiber broadband, cable and DSL in parts of the state.

TDS won a single grant for $1.7 million. Axiom Technologies won two grants totaling approximately $3.2 million and Unitel/Direct Communications won one grant for over $3 million.

Applications Exceed Funding More Than Three-fold

The Maine Connect the Ready program is funded by a $150 million allocation from the American Rescue Plan Act Capital Projects Fund and the Maine Jobs and Recovery Program.

The Maine Connectivity Authority said it received 29 grant applications requesting more than $102 million for this round of funding.

Consolidated has been very active in pursuing funding in New England, where the company acquired the operations of Fairpoint several years ago. For example, the company is involved in public private partnerships in Maine and Vermont in which the local communities are covering some construction costs.

A complete list of companies receiving funding in the latest round of the Maine Connect the Ready program can be found in this press release.

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