The Maine Connectivity Authority (MCA) is accepting applications for $100 million for Broadband Infrastructure Grants through the new Connect the Ready Program.
Connect the Ready is one of several projects in the state funded by $150 million from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Capital Projects Fund and the Maine Jobs Recovery Program.
Connect the Ready is a partnership of Maine communities and ISPs. So far, 44 communities and regions have received funding through the program, which formerly was the ConnectMaine Authority.
The Maine broadband grants include:
- Connect the Ready Grants: An allocation of $70 million for public private partnerships. The projects will support design, funding and building of broadband infrastructure, with a priority on projects in rural and remote areas. Applications will be accepted until November 9.
- Get Ready: Community Support: Allocation of $30 million to support community-driven initiatives with technical assistance, planning, data analysis and development of local anchor institutions. Applications will be accepted until October 28.
- Regional Broadband Partnerships: As much as $500,000 per award recipient for regional partnerships working toward digital equity and inclusion while creating alignment and coordination between communities, regions and the state. Applications will be accepted until Nov. 4.
“Maine has been a pioneer in broadband policy and programming,” said Andrew Butcher, the president of the Connect Maine Authority, in a press release about the Maine broadband grants. “Connect the Ready represents an amazing opportunity to build on and significantly increase the scale of the innovative work done across the state to date, leveraging Maine’s culture of partnering to achieve our common goals.”
Maine was approved to receive $110 million in funding from the ARPA Capital Projects Fund for broadband projects in July.
Other awards were made in August (Arkansas, Connecticut, Indiana, Nebraska and North Dakota), September (New Hampshire) and early October (Massachusetts, Michigan and Wisconsin).