Maine Connectivity Authority grants will help bring reliable, symmetrical fiber internet to 15,800 homes across 15 rural Maine communities
PORTLAND, Maine – Feb. 27, 2023 – Consolidated Communications (NASDAQ:CNSL, news, filings) a leading Fiber-to-the-Home (FttH) provider, will bring its multi-gig internet service, Fidium to more than 15,800 homes and businesses in rural Maine, funded in part with two grants totaling nearly $17 million from Maine Connectivity Authority (MCA).
“We’re thrilled to be working collaboratively with rural communities throughout Maine to close the rural digital divide,” said Sarah Davis, vice president of government affairs at Consolidated. “Maine Connectivity Authority is doing incredible work in empowering communities and providers to find solutions that bring reliable, high-speed internet to consumers and small businesses.”
Consolidated partnered with the towns of Skowhegan, Madison, Cornville and Canaan to apply for MCA’s Connect the Ready grant program. The program encourages proactive partnerships and collaborative efforts to design, fund and build universal broadband service to mostly underserved and unserved communities in Maine. The grant awarded will provide $8.8 million to aid in reaching 12,500 homes.
“We are thankful that Consolidated Communications asked us to partner with them on this broadband expansion project and that our application was successful in obtaining the largest grant from Maine Connectivity Authority’s Connect the Ready Program,” said Christine Almand, town manager for Skowhegan. “This project will provide the opportunity for a fiber connection to every residence and business in the Town of Skowhegan. Although the Town has been discussing our needs for high-speed, reliable internet access for more than a decade, those needs became much more apparent at the onset of the pandemic. This project will improve the lives of our citizens socially and economically.”
MCA’s Reach Me line extension grant program incentivizes providers to extend their existing fiber network to all unserved locations in the area. Consolidated worked with the Greater East Grand Region Economic Council and was awarded $8.1 million in funding to extend FttH internet service to 3,300 homes and small businesses in Bancroft, Brookton, Danforth, Drew Plantation, Glenwood Plantation, Haynesville, Forest, Forest City, Orient, Reed Plantation, and Weston, Maine.
“Every economic and community development strategy in Greater East Grand region depends on having access to high-speed broadband,” said Sarah Strickland, interim director Greater East Grand Economic Council. “This investment through Consolidated is a game changer for the people of this region, and all 11 communities are thrilled.”
Consolidated is bringing reliable, fiber broadband services to rural Maine, and to date has brought fiber internet to 147,000 homes and small businesses since 2021. In addition to these recent awards, Consolidated and MCA also collaborated on an $18.3 million grant from NTIA to build FttH to more than 22,000 homes and businesses in the Blue Hill Peninsula, the Rangeley area and the town of Farmington. Those projects are scheduled to be completed by spring 2023.
About Consolidated Communications
Consolidated Communications Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: CNSL) is dedicated to moving people, businesses and communities forward by delivering the most reliable fiber communications solutions. Consumers, businesses and wireless and wireline carriers depend on Consolidated for a wide range of high-speed internet, data, phone, security, cloud and wholesale carrier solutions. With a network spanning more than 57,500 fiber route miles, Consolidated is a top 10 U.S. fiber provider, turning technology into solutions that are backed by exceptional customer support. Learn more at consolidated.com. Connect with us on social media.
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