Satellite broadband provider Viasat Inc. of Carlsbad, California, has received a $4.7 million Federal Communications Commission grant to provide internet service to about 4,100 homes in rural Maine.

The grant, which pays out over a 10-year period, was announced Thursday as part of the FCC’s “Connect America” program to expand broadband service to over 700,000 rural locations nationwide.

Grants were awarded via a reverse auction process in which internet service providers submitted competing bids for the FCC-subsidized projects. According to the FCC, Viasat won 20 bids for projects in various states, including Maine.

Peggy Schaffer of the Maine Broadband Coalition said the latest round of Connect America grants were for “very, very rural parts of the state” that many broadband providers were not interested in serving because of the areas’ sparse nature and resulting high overhead costs.

Viasat currently offers satellite internet service in Maine with download speeds of up to 12 megabits per second at prices that range from $100 to $200 a month following a discounted, three-month introductory period.

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