July 15, 2020
By Ramona du Houx
Maine voters overwhelmingly approved Question 1 on the statewide ballot, authorizing a $15 million bond investment to increase access to high speed internet in underserved and unserved areas of the state.
“Voters were clear. They understand that access to high speed internet is a necessity and that no community in Maine should be left behind,” said Nick Battista, co-chair of the Yes on 1 for Better Internet campaign. “Question 1 will help our economy to recover from economic hardships caused by COVID-19, strengthen Maine’s rural economy and help families to connect to their jobs, schools and loved ones. I want to thank all of our partners who supported this campaign, and the voters who made the decision to invest in better internet.”
The $15 million investment will be matched by an additional $30 million in private, local and federal funding for a total investment of $45 million.
“For too long, Mainers in rural areas of the state have lacked the infrastructure for high-speed internet,” said Lori Parham, AARP Maine state director. “On behalf of our 230,000 members in Maine, we thank voters and our collaborative partners for recognizing how critical it is for every Mainer, no matter their age, to have access to reliable and affordable high-speed internet from every corner of the state.”
Question 1 was supported by nearly 120 organizations, towns, nonprofits, community organizations and businesses.
In edition to community partners, the Yes on 1 for Better Internet campaign also was endorsed by Maine Insights, the Bangor Daily News, the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram, the Kennebec Journal and the Morning Sentinel newspapers.
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