As a member of the Legislature’s Energy, Utilities and Technology Committee, I learned firsthand about the importance of reliable power for our state and the regional grid system. Central Maine Power’s New England Clean Energy Connectg project is bringing a new means of connecting to reliable resources from another source, HydroQuebec, and it means thousands of jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars to Maine, which is something we should all be excited about.

But there’s another part of the project that has gone somewhat under the radar that is critically important to western Maine, specifically increased broadband in Somerset and Franklin counties.

I can’t stress enough how frustrating it is to not have reliable broadband service. It’s like a trip back to the 1980s.

There’s no question it hurts economic development. Why would a business what to set up shop in a part of the state where service is spotty at best? Why would customers go to a restaurant or cafe where they can’t sit down and check their phones for the scores of the ballgame or the latest news as they enjoy a meal?

CMP promises to bring expanded broadband cable as part of the project. To bring this resource ot rural Maine communities is significant, and we should support it with open arms. It’s time we bring western Maine towns access to the 21st century internet and this project can help insure it happens.

Andre Cushing

Newport

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