BANGOR — In an effort to expand broadband access for residents and businesses in Hancock County, County Commissioners have engaged Mission Broadband, a broadband consulting firm based in Bangor, to understand the towns’ broadband initiatives and to help county officials determine the best path forward.
The County Commissioners have made this broadband initiative one of their key commitments for the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) fund allocation. Some towns within the county have formed committees and broadband utilities, while others are embarking on broadband education, funding options and feasibility. To date, county officials and Mission Broadband have met with 15 out of 37 total municipalities to identify unserved and underserved areas where internet access is either unavailable or unreliable.
“The team at Mission Broadband was hired by the Hancock County Commissioners to assist with the broadband expansion efforts within our fine county,” said Scott Adkins, county administrator. “If you have not made contact with them, please do so by reaching out today. The survey is a valuable tool in both assessing the individual needs of your town and vital in securing future funding.”
A key component of the work between Mission Broadband and Hancock County includes a county-wide survey that explores broadband access, cost, quality and other key data points to determine the level of need in each area. This survey is currently open and available at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/Hancock_County_BB.
Additional work commissioned by Mission Broadband includes the following activities:
• Consulting with towns on how to get started.
• Gathering data using Connect Maine’s speed test.
• Researching avenues of funding and helping stakeholders understand what’s available.
• Acquiring information on broadband quality, reliability, affordability and digital equity.
• Meeting with internet service providers (ISPs).
• Mapping broadband data and analysis.
Town officials who are interested in learning more and getting involved in this initiative should email John Dougherty, vice president and general manager of Mission Broadband, at [email protected] to schedule a meeting via phone, Zoom or in person.
To speak with the Hancock County Commissioners’ Office, call 667-9542 or email Scott Adkins, county administrator at [email protected] or Rebekah Knowlton, deputy county administrator, at [email protected].