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Lawmaker touts proposal for more rural broadband in Maine

January 13, 2018

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — A lawmaker in Maine used a public hearing to encourage residents to support a proposed bond that would improve rural broadband in the state.

State Rep. Seth Berry, a Democrat from Bowdoinham, wants voters to decide on the broadband issue. A public hearing was held on the subject on Wednesday in Augusta.

Berry’s proposal would ask voters to pass a $100 million bond to empower the state’s ConnectMe Authority to greatly increase the amount of broadband internet cables throughout rural Maine.

Berry says investing in rural broadband would allow more Maine businesses to access new markets. He says it would also improve communications for seniors and online learning tools for school children.

Supporters at the public hearing included Julie Ann Smith, the executive director of the Maine Farm Bureau.

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