Broadband: Everyone needs it, so why don’t we have it?

Tue., March 23, 2021, 6:30 PM

LOCATION: Online via Zoom

Just over 20 years ago, Maine was the first state in the nation to wire schools and libraries for broadband internet, and the first to issue laptops to school kids. But now, Maine bumps along the bottom of nearly every ranking of states with high speed internet. How did we lose that momentum and what will it take to get it back?

The past year has underscored how essential broadband is –- for the ability to work from home, to learn remotely and to receive health care services. Efforts are underway on the state and federal levels, including a $30 million initiative unveiled recently in Gov. Janet Mills’ budget. But will they be enough?

Policy Matters is a series offering guided discussions from a policy, not a political, perspective into some of the biggest issues confronting Maine.

The series will sidestep the superficial exchange of talking points so common in discussion and debate these days and get to the foundational issues and context that frame some of the most compelling challenges we face in Maine.

Policy Matters is sponsored by Bates College, Bowdoin College, and GrowSmart Maine.

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