In 2015, a group of local community leaders began meeting regularly to discuss ways of revitalizing the area’s stagnant economy. After deciding that active recruitment of new businesses was a good first step, they created a detailed list of regional assets that could be attractive to new employers, employees and their families. Although the list was long and strong, there was a major infrastructure gap – the lack of reliable, high speed Internet.
The group, now known as Downeast Economic Development, made it a top priority to improve upon the existing broadband infrastructure and approached local municipal governments about working together to bring the fastest, most reliable Internet service to residents and businesses. The interest level was high and by the end of 2016 a feasibility study was commissioned and completed. The results of the study indicated that the cost of building a new fiber optic broadband network could be recouped within 5 years.
After extensive research and grassroots outreach to gauge local support, Downeast Broadband Utility was formed in August of 2017. Downeast Broadband is the first broadband utility to be formed in the State of Maine. Its mission is to provide access to fiber optic broadband to 100% of its members and is structured so as to allow other communities to join the utility at any time. If your community is interested in becoming a part of our broadband family, let us know and we’ll be in touch.
Also, stay up to date with exciting project announcements on our Facebook page!