Maine Needs a Comprehensive Plan for Broadband Access

Republicans agree that it is critical that Maine widen access to broadband Internet service, especially into the more rural areas of the state. Before spending millions on an ineffective, directionless effort, state government must develop a detailed work plan on where and how money allocated to improve and expand broadband Internet service should be spent.

Randomly throwing money at the problem is no solution to Maine’s broadband issues. The most effective way for a government program to work is to make a detailed plan with achievable goals and specific objectives. When this is in place, funds that are allocated must accomplish these objectives. This is how MDOT funds transportation projects: Pave this section of road, at this cost, prioritized for this reason, with this beneficial result.

There is no plan of this type in place for expanding broadband Internet access in Maine. Without it, spending more and more money on haphazard projects will not move us toward our goal and will only waste taxpayer dollars.

House Republican Leader Kathleen Dillingham submitted LR 2668 titled, “An Act to Create the Broadband Work Plan” to the Legislative Council in October. The bill was unanimously supported by Republicans, but every Democrat on the Council voted against allowing the bill to go forward.