October 2016 Maine Island Broadband Coalition Conference

A pair of broadband internet conferences were held on October 25th and 26th.  Charlie & Donna Hopkins, (Head Harbor), and Sue & Stew Foelix (East Side) ventured to listen, learn & bring back perspective.  Attendees included both year-round and summer residents from many Islands and rural Maine communities and providers small and large (TDS, FairPoint, GWI, Axiom, etc.).  Also represented were government agencies, advocates, and representatives of both Chellie Pingree’s and Angus King’s staffs.

The linked document below summarizes the two days.
Maine Broadband Coalition Conference


Our Action Steps:

  1. Continue the dialog started with TDS at the conference regarding the remaining contracted FairPoint work needed to complete the 2016 system upgrades.  Since there were representatives from both companies present at the meeting, we took the opportunity to elevate the issue and to request monthly follow-up until it’s resolved
  2. Identify what is needed to improve speeds for all Island homes.  TDS has indicated that some proposal work on accomplishing this is ongoing.  We have requested details when available.
  3. Define what we want/need as a community going forward.  A thought is that we should advocate for a download speed of 25 MBPS (the national minimum to qualify as “broadband”), and an upload speed of 10 MBPS (the Maine minimum standard).  These speeds should allow for adequate capacity for important uses like store order placing, credit card processing, or videoconferencing.


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