Gov. Janet Mills is working to improve the internet connection for Maine’s rural populations. Our forward-thinking governor knows that we can’t build new business for Maine’s future on old technology. High-speed, or broadband, internet in Maine will benefit everyone. It is, as she puts it, no longer a luxury, but a necessity.
In a recent speech, Gov. Mills recounted a story about a marketing and design agency in Millinocket that had to use a bus as a courier service for its files because it could not simply send them via email. This is no way to conduct business in 2020, and without the necessary infrastructure, Maine will always remain behind in the national and global economy. The governor has a plan— and the funding – for expanding and improving broadband across the state, including Maine’s remote, rural, northern counties and western swaths, where people need to be connected to the world wide web in order to work virtually, start home businesses, and participate fully in culture and industry.
Four entities will share $10 million from the federal government to increase the reach and speed of broadband internet. Grants and loans will directly benefit companies such as The Biddeford Internet Corp., which most of us know as GWI, and will allow them to update their services in coastal communities with higher-speed, fiber-optic broadband networks.
A high-speed internet connection impacts emergency response, business, education, and telehealth. These are areas that could improve the quality of life for many Mainers and are potential revenue streams for entrepreneurs. Telehealth and education are two such fields that are ripe for business development, specifically for smaller communities that historically did not have access to the wider world. High-speed internet brings the world to your dooryard, even if you live in Aroostook County. You can access the best medical care, or you could found a company that widens the reach, speed, and quality of care for others. There are almost no limits to what we can do with access and availability.
Access to information edifies minds and reshapes how we live. We will pull ourselves up by our bootstraps, or by our fiber-optic internet lines, as it were, to tap into and create ways of making a living and improving our lives, and the lives of our neighbors.
Greenlight Maine supports visionary new businesses that improve the lives of all Mainers, one pitch at a time.