If the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that broadband access is essential in Maine. Today, it is not easy to get high speed internet access in many of our rural communities, which makes learning and working from home more difficult. Broadband connectivity helps Maine’s economy by developing a strong workforce, encouraging innovation, and attracting new residents and businesses. It also supports our students and seniors who spend more time at home.
Join us for this four-part virtual event series as we bring together policymakers, business leaders and educators to chart a course for improving the quality, cost and availability of high-speed Internet in Maine. Subject matter experts will help us learn something new and highlight where we are as a state when it comes to broadband connectivity – and where we might be in the future. Moderated by the journalists and editors of Bangor Daily News, the sessions will include sufficient time for questions and discussion from the audience.
Thursday February 18 at 5 p.m.
Broadband Link – What’s Next?
We put in a bond in July to borrow $ 15 million to invest in high-speed Internet infrastructure, that is, broadband. This is the very first bond investment of its kind in Maine. Soâ¦ what’s the next step?
Guest speakers: Nick Battista, President of ConnectME; Kendra Jo Grindle, Senior Community Development Officer at the Island Institute; Japhet Els, AARP Outreach Director; and Charlie Woodworth, executive director of the Greater Franklin Development Council.
Wednesday February 24 at 5 p.m.
Data privacy, security and accessibility
How can you protect your data? What are the regulations regarding data privacy within the state? How can you access the internet and technology affordably and who is there to help?
Guest speakers: Lori Sussman of the Department of Technology at the University of Southern Maine and Kerem Durdag, COO of GWI.
Wednesday March 10 at 5 p.m.
The Case for Connectivity – The Impact of Broadband on Education in Maine
What do schools, colleges and communities face when it comes to making sure their students are connected online? What are the biggest issues and challenges across the state?
Guest speakers: Susan Corbett, Director of the National Digital Equity Center; Jeff Letourneau, executive director of NetworkMaine at the University of Maine; and Beth Lambert, director of policy at the Maine Department of Education.
Thursday April 22 at 5 p.m.
Get Connected – What connectivity options are available to prime contractors
The current broadband obligation will not be able to meet the needs of all Mainers. What connectivity options are available for those who need it?
Guest speakers: Peggy Schaffer, Executive Director of ConnectME. Additional speakers to be announced.