The Maine Community Foundation’s Community Broadband Grant Program has awarded $100,364 in grants to nine communities across Maine.

The program aims to increase the number of Maine people, communities, and businesses with access to high-speed internet service and improve skills, knowledge, and opportunity to effectively use the technology, according to a news release from the foundation.

Grantees include:

• City of Portland, to establish Wi-Fi services for low-income homeless families in emergency shelter which primarily serves asylum-seeking families;
• Island Commons Resource Center, Chebeague Island, to provide a high-speed internet connection to the Island Commons for use by staff, caregivers, visiting specialists, residents and the community; and
• West Kennebec Lakes Community Broadband Association, to complete broadband planning project and present findings by hosting 2 community-wide meetings in all 6 member towns.

“Increasingly, quality of life — and communication — for Maine people, communities, and businesses is improved by the ability to access reliable, affordable high-speed internet,” said Maggie Drummond-Bahl, MaineCF senior program officer. “We are proud to be one of many partners helping to boost local and regional efforts to improve connectivity across Maine.”

A complete list of 2019 grantees is available at mainecf.org. The Community Broadband Grant Program will continue in 2020 and 2021. Details will be available on the website. The application deadline is Oct. 15, 2020.

Headquartered in Ellsworth, with additional personnel in Portland, Dover-Foxcroft, and Mars Hill, the Maine Community Foundation works with donors and other partners to provide strong investments, personalized service, local expertise, and strategic giving to improve the quality of life for all Maine people. To learn more about the foundation, visit its website.

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