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Public Meeting on ConnectMaine's Draft Criteria for its Infrastructure Grant Program - Shared screen with speaker view
Christa Thorpe
47:22
Christa Thorpe from Island Institute and Bremen broadband committee
Amy McDonald
47:31
Hi everyone, Amy McDonald - Charlotte Broadband Committee. hope all are well.
Kate Stoodley
47:57
Greetings, Kate Stoodley from Westport Island Broadband Committee (our connection is too weak for vid)
Nanette Ardry
48:26
Nanette Ardry, Office of the Public Advocate
ALLISON HEPLER
48:36
Rep. Allison Hepler -- House District 53 -- Arrowsic, Georgetown, Woolwich and Phippsburg in Sagadahoc County, and Dresden in Lincoln County.
Joshua Broder
48:42
Hi everyone, Joshua Broder from Tilson here.
Kerem Durdag
49:02
Hello folks, Kerem Durdag from GWI here.
Vicki Rusbult
49:03
Dr. Vicki Rusbult from Eastern Maine Development Corporation
Maggie Osthues
49:05
Poll link for today’s meeting: https://PollEv.com/cbi297
Galen Weibley
49:06
Galen Weibley, Economic Development Director for the City of Presque Isle
Elizabeth Cooper, Consensus Building Institute
49:26
Re-sharing: poll link for today’s meeting: https://PollEv.com/cbi297
Sarah Strickland
49:28
Sarah Strickland, representing Greater East Grand Region Broadband Task Force and the GEGR Economic Development Alliance
George OKeefe
49:41
George O'Keefe, Economic Development Director, Town of Rumford
Clara McCool - Maine Broadband Coalition
50:41
Hi all, I’m Clara McCool with the Maine Broadband Coalition and the Harrison and Naples Broadband Committees
Tracy Scheckel
51:15
Hi All, Tracy Scheckel - OTELCO
Elizabeth Cooper, Consensus Building Institute
51:17
Re-sharing: poll link for today’s meeting: https://PollEv.com/cbi297
James Fisher Deer Isle Town Manager
52:15
Jim Fisher, Deer Isle Town Manager
Gabrian McPhail
53:02
Gabe McPhail, Town of Vinalhaven Planning Department
Jan Collins
53:04
Jan Collins, Wilton Broadband Committee.
Alan Hinsey
53:04
Alan Hinsey - LCI Fiber Optics
Jim Grenier
53:15
Hello all. I'm Jim Grenier, Chair of Somerville's Broadband Committee
Stephenie, Asst. Director
53:28
On-going input welcomed: https://www.maine.gov/connectme/grants/engagement
Michael Forcillo
53:34
Michael Forcillo - Redzone WIreless
Jeff McCarthy
54:05
Jeff McCarthy (former MFC) joins - Hello to all.
Andrew Butcher
54:12
Andrew Butcher - Maine Broadband Coalition - GPCOG
Cathy Gorman; Telcom Professional
54:24
Is there anyone from Consolidated / Fairpoint on this forum?
Mia Purcell
54:26
Mia Purcell with Maine
Amy Ryder
54:32
Hello, Amy Ryder - Town of Hampden
Kathleen Miller
54:33
Kathy Miller, Mount Desert 365 and Town of Mount Desert Broadband Committee
Kat Taylor Argyle Twp
54:34
Kat Taylor - Argyle Township - private citizen with a background in IT and recently assisted my town in successfully getting fiber to the premise through ConnectMaine and TIF grants
Maggie Osthues, CBI
55:18
Re-sharing: poll link for today’s meeting: https://PollEv.com/cbi297
Mia Purcell
55:31
Mia Purcell with Maine West Broadband Boot Camp
Maggie Osthues, CBI
56:03
Chat me (Maggie Osthues) with any tech issues. If you get disconnected, my email is mosthues@cbi.org
Stephenie, Asst. Director
58:17
On-going input welcomed: https://www.maine.gov/connectme/grants/engagement
Stephenie, Asst. Director
01:02:42
Quick links to our rule, as well as other supporting documents, are provided on the engagement webpage: https://www.maine.gov/connectme/grants/engagement
Zafra Whitcomb - Belfast Broadband Committee
01:06:22
Does it really matter to a Maine resident lacking broadband access whether they are a part of a green site or expansion project?
Zafra Whitcomb - Belfast Broadband Committee
01:06:33
*greenfield
Elizabeth Cooper, Consensus Building Institute
01:08:18
Please share your clarifying questions here! What is not clear? What questions do you have about this emerging structure? Re-sharing link: https://PollEv.com/cbi297
Stephenie, Asst. Director
01:08:37
Zafra: The types of projects matter because both are important to achieving universal broadband in Maine; we don't want projects to miss out on funding just because they're different than projects historically awarded grants
Jan Collins
01:08:45
How do we insure that the digital divide does not mirror income disparity?
Stephenie, Asst. Director
01:09:11
On-going input welcomed: https://www.maine.gov/connectme/grants/engagement
Stephenie, Asst. Director
01:09:19
Please share your clarifying questions here! What is not clear? What questions do you have about this emerging structure? Re-sharing link: https://PollEv.com/cbi297
Joe Dallatore
01:09:44
Are “wireless last mile” solutions a form of line extension, or something else?
Sarah Strickland
01:09:53
Are the Eligibility and Accountability for this round set in statute or are they specific to this round?
Stephenie, Asst. Director
01:10:36
Sarah: both
STEVEN PELLETIER
01:11:32
Can a small community lines extension project include underserved cable television along with broadband internet service?
Jim Grenier
01:13:30
What data set will ConnectME be using regarding the available broadband service in a town?
Thomas Kittredge
01:15:49
Can a government entity be eligible for a Community-Driven broadband project grant if they will be owning and managing the network?
Christopher Johnson
01:16:33
What consideration of ineligibility for Fed funding due to RDOS / CAF II given to satellite services that will not in fact be able to serve many residents due to on the ground conditions such as line of site, or pricing out of reach of poor community members? It takes away leveraging possibilities and creates a false sense of being served.
Stephenie, Asst. Director
01:16:34
Regarding this question: Is the new build 10/10 threshold and 25/3 a settled matter or could those go up as part of the program design?See the bottom of this webpage: https://www.maine.gov/connectme/about/statutes-rulemaking
Bill Findeisen-Denmark ME broadband commitee
01:16:42
Do any of the proposed routes to expansion help to create some competition? In the rural areas the providers have a defacto monopoly yet are unregulated.
Bill Findeisen-Denmark ME broadband commitee
01:17:37
Is there any discussion in Augusta about regulating the cable companies as a utility?
Kat Taylor Argyle Twp
01:17:56
Broadband Coalition’s speed test and map
Kat Taylor Argyle Twp
01:18:02
https://www.mainebroadbandcoalition.org/speed-test-info
Maggie Osthues, CBI
01:19:54
Re-sharing: poll link for today’s meeting: https://PollEv.com/cbi297
Kerem Durdag
01:20:53
With the multiplicity of questions being asked, will there be a repository of answers available to the public (other than the video of this meeting)?
Sarah Strickland
01:21:11
What questions are we answering on the poll>
Robert Butler
01:22:38
Robert Butler, Waldoboro Communications and Technology Committee and Waldoboro Select Board
Maggie Osthues, CBI
01:22:56
Sarah, the Poll is open for people to share their feedback on the questions on the screen regarding project value and community support. You can also share your thoughts in the chat or verbally.
Stephenie, Asst. Director
01:23:10
Sarah: We're trying to answer clarifying questions that affect ability to engage or ask questions on other parts of this program framework discussion. We won't be able to answer all questions at this time.
Stephenie, Asst. Director
01:24:16
On-going input welcomed: https://www.maine.gov/connectme/grants/engagementPoll link for today: https://PollEv.com/cbi297
Stephenie, Asst. Director
01:28:22
With regard to the question: What is the community involvement in the planning process?That's one area of input we're seeking, what do you think should be evidence reviewed?
Carlos Barrionuevo Georgetown
01:29:48
Ted, excellent point and points to regional approaches - still requires towns to put their finances on the line but good success story.
Sarah Strickland
01:35:02
Thank you George!!!
Kat Taylor Argyle Twp
01:36:46
Argyle is mostly retired over 55 residents. We got funding from ConnectMaine, TIF funds from the Passadumkeag Wind Farm fund and Otelco matched funding by half.
Amy McDonald
01:37:33
could you set up some metric around build-out cost as a % of tax base?
William Amaral
01:37:47
Good points George, here in S Portland we have very good coverage in most of the city, but not a lot of provider competition
Kat Taylor Argyle Twp
01:38:00
Can any ISP, or other qualified applicant, in the state bid on a project for a community even if it is not geographically “local”?
Kat Taylor Argyle Twp
01:40:19
Someone asked in the poll about WISP’s. https://www.wispa.org/what_is_a_wisp.php
Peggy Schaffer, ConnectMaine
01:40:43
ISPs can offer to bring service to anywhere in the state that are unserved.
Kat Taylor Argyle Twp
01:40:58
Would the Authority fund fixed wireless?
Stephenie, Asst. Director
01:41:13
On-going input welcomed: https://www.maine.gov/connectme/grants/engagementPoll link for today: https://PollEv.com/cbi297
Peggy Schaffer, ConnectMaine
01:41:38
If it can meet the build standard. Yes. We funded Redzone in the most recent ConnecttheKidsNow Program
Jan Collins
01:43:11
Thank-you for this conversation and for hearing rural communities.
George OKeefe
01:43:42
Milton Township is unorganized territory right next to us ... How are the needs of those areas being addressed? They have 0 broadband ... No DSL no cable ... nothing ... I've been trying to work with Spectrum to get service extended there ... but not sure how their needs would even get heard or if that type of project would even be eligible ...
George OKeefe
01:44:14
They also don't get Red Zone and their view of the southern sky for satellite is blocked
Carlos Barrionuevo Georgetown
01:44:20
Do you want to tie the percentage of project funding to the economic capacity of the applicant? A modification to George's point - does a community with a lower median income or tax base get a greater percentage of the cost funded than one that has greater resources?
Stephenie, Asst. Director
01:44:33
On-going input welcomed: https://www.maine.gov/connectme/grants/engagementPoll link for today: https://PollEv.com/cbi297
George OKeefe
01:44:33
Spectrum stops literally at the Town line ...
Mark Greene - Long Island Broadband
01:44:59
Can some of grant funds be earmarked for digital literacy training or subsidizing subscription costs for lower income folks
Carlos Barrionuevo Georgetown
01:45:37
or subsidizing families with children which is where I'd like to go
Peggy Schaffer, ConnectMaine
01:46:13
We cannot fund digital literacy training or subscription costs with bond funds. The funds are limited to capital expenses only that will last for the life of the bond which is 10 years
Carlos Barrionuevo Georgetown
01:46:38
ah but that could be part of the value criteria
Peggy Schaffer, ConnectMaine
01:47:27
DECD is currently working with DHHS to provide funding for SNAP families with internet service from January to June this year. Hopefully, we can provide service to 25,000 families for the first 6 months of next year.
Kat Taylor Argyle Twp
01:47:36
The National Digital Equity Center is a great resource for free training for Maine residents. https://digitalequitycenter.org/resources/community-broadband-access/
Susan Corbett
01:48:04
Free digital literacy classes are free for all Maine residents through the National Digital Equity Center, www.digitalequitycenter.org
Stephenie, Asst. Director
01:49:54
On-going input welcomed: https://www.maine.gov/connectme/grants/engagementPoll link for today: https://PollEv.com/cbi297
George OKeefe
01:50:21
are there any requirements on Spectrum for open access or can it just be standard broadband extension?
Butler Smythe - (PUB)
01:51:07
Will there be a requirement to support Broadband definition growth - 25/3 to 100/100 as an example. Some can’t support that…. or to 250/250… Copper can do that.
Butler Smythe - (PUB)
01:51:29
CAN’T do that!
Kat Taylor Argyle Twp
01:52:16
Argyle is unorganized township and got full funding
Kat Taylor Argyle Twp
01:52:51
Telecommunications Association of Maine http://tamnet.org/
Stephenie, Asst. Director
01:53:12
On-going input welcomed: https://www.maine.gov/connectme/grants/engagement
Stephenie, Asst. Director
01:53:41
For more info on designating broadband service and unserved areas: https://www.maine.gov/connectme/about/statutes-rulemaking
Kat Taylor Argyle Twp
01:53:55
Maine Broadband Coalition…sign up for their newsletter. https://www.mainebroadbandcoalition.org/
Kat Taylor Argyle Twp
01:55:05
Kat’s email. I’m happy to help you network kat.byteme@gmail.com
james ritter -Denmark
01:55:20
Are there active discussions going on with the major ISP’s like spectrum and are they yielding anything towards the goal broader Broadband coverage
William Amaral
01:56:48
80:20?
Peggy Schaffer, ConnectMaine
01:57:11
Spectrum and CCI have both announced expansions. Spectrum has announced expansions into Etna, Swanville, Dixmont/Newburgh.
Carlos Barrionuevo Georgetown
01:57:57
RDOF thank you JIm for bringing that up
William Amaral
01:58:00
80 to larger, 20 to smaller projects.
Elizabeth Cooper, Consensus Building Institute
01:58:10
Thanks William!
Kat Taylor Argyle Twp
01:58:13
If any ISP, or qualified applicant, can bid on a project, then communities might want to call around to various ISP’s in the state to see if they would be interested in consulting.
Stephenie, Asst. Director
01:58:28
On-going input welcomed: https://www.maine.gov/connectme/grants/engagement
Don Flewelling
01:58:34
Rural Digital Opportunity Fund.
Christopher Johnson
01:58:43
Somerville - RDOF plus CAF II carves out nearly 65% of our rural town - assigning to Starlink and Viasat respectively.
Carlos Barrionuevo Georgetown
01:58:46
Here is the map of awards https://www.fcc.gov/reports-research/maps/rdof-phase-i-dec-2020/
Carlos Barrionuevo Georgetown
01:59:10
Carved out 30% of Georgetown
Don Flewelling
01:59:24
CCI bid on delivering gigabit (FTTH) service.
Butler Smythe - (PUB)
02:00:39
Satellite will have data caps - not good! Makes it very expensive. HughesNet and Starlink fit that category. Affordability will be the driver.
Don Flewelling
02:01:24
Federal Funding is very difficult to get and even more difficult to make good use of… Remember the Downeast Broadband Utility model… In the interest of time, they went to a local commercial bank for funding.
Kat Taylor Argyle Twp
02:01:25
Rural Digital Opportunity Fund is the Commission’s next step in bridging the digital dividehttps://www.fcc.gov/auction/904A reverse auction began a couple of weeks ago.Maine has eligible sectors and this may be another source of funding for interested parties.
Stephenie, Asst. Director
02:01:40
On-going input welcomed: https://www.maine.gov/connectme/grants/engagement
Butler Smythe - (PUB)
02:02:29
good article - concerns - about RDOF https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__muninetworks.org_content_rdof-2Dauction-2Dends-2Dconfusion-2Dand-2Dcorruption-2Dmay-2Djust-2Dbe-2Dbeginning&d=DwMFaQ&c=euGZstcaTDllvimEN8b7jXrwqOf-v5A_CdpgnVfiiMM&r=A9A-uNv_Yl3g-MOzCYhGsE1hn_3VVAU202zciKgqyWc&m=Fnmb0zrBzNHGmoR1_o9EdAIzkgeGD4rUCu0aUzxA908&s=Dwn8s08awfGM8XGGc4M-2Wd-qFPchTT9o8tG8bTX2K0&e=
Carlos Barrionuevo Georgetown
02:02:36
The effect of RDOF has been to render areas that were previously eligible for the USDA ReConnect program ineligible
Don Flewelling
02:02:51
I think
Don Flewelling
02:03:00
CCI got money for Lakeville.
Christopher Johnson
02:03:06
Has anyone yet tested municipal pole attachment? Anyone interested in banding together to defend against legal challenges to that?
Carlos Barrionuevo Georgetown
02:03:11
Suspect that was not intended, but that is where we are . Don is right - Fed funding is very difficult
Stephenie, Asst. Director
02:03:22
Also Maine Broadband Coalition: https://www.mainebroadbandcoalition.org/landing
William Amaral
02:03:35
Is there support for state-level tax derived funding for smaller build-out projects focused on rural and low-income urban Mainers?
Stephenie, Asst. Director
02:05:33
On-going input welcomed: https://www.maine.gov/connectme/grants/engagement
Maggie Osthues, CBI
02:05:47
Re-sharing: poll link for today’s meeting: https://PollEv.com/cbi297
Christopher Johnson
02:06:04
Somerville’s USDA grant application was made unworkable by USDA changing the rules 2 weeks ago - requiring we update our application to exclude RDOF areas that didn’t exist when we applied leaving only ~35% of the town eligible but still having to run fiber on most poles to reach remaining areas. Killed our project after all the effort we put in.
Sarah Strickland
02:06:55
So - a bit of clarity on RDOF - If CCI won an area in GEGR region, then will ConnectMaine eliminate them from the a priority list of communities that are unserved?
Sarah Strickland
02:07:13
Mia is asking my question?
Zafra Whitcomb - Belfast Broadband Committee
02:07:18
Are the polls, questions, and comments in Poll Everywhere going to be available after this session?
Butler Smythe - (PUB)
02:07:56
CCI hasn’t accepted the awards yet…. nor defined what they would build and where…
Stephenie, Asst. Director
02:08:42
Zafra: Consensus Building Institute will help us capture everything in an synthesis
Sarah Strickland
02:08:49
Thank you Nick.
Stephenie, Asst. Director
02:09:07
We'll keep this webpage updated as this process continues: https://www.maine.gov/connectme/grants/engagement
Stephenie, Asst. Director
02:09:37
Re-sharing: poll link for today’s meeting: https://PollEv.com/cbi297
Zafra Whitcomb - Belfast Broadband Committee
02:10:22
Stephanie: could we have all comments as an attachment? Summary/synthesis is good, but so is raw data.
Maggie Osthues, CBI
02:10:29
Re-sharing: poll link for today’s meeting: https://PollEv.com/cbi297
George OKeefe
02:10:57
Will there be a separate question for concerns?
George OKeefe
02:11:11
as provided it asks only about positives ...
Elizabeth Cooper, Consensus Building Institute
02:11:16
George: yes! Coming following this
George OKeefe
02:11:22
ok thanks!
Elizabeth Cooper, Consensus Building Institute
02:11:30
Sorry, we have to ask one at a time...
Butler Smythe - (PUB)
02:12:28
My biggest cause for concern is local Town Government involvement - lack of it. A point of concern for others that are part of my recent discussions
Stephenie, Asst. Director
02:12:37
We'll keep this webpage updated as this process continues: https://www.maine.gov/connectme/grants/engagementRe-sharing: poll link for today’s meeting: https://PollEv.com/cbi297
Elizabeth Cooper, Consensus Building Institute
02:12:57
The poll is now asking for your most significant CONCERNS
Stephenie, Asst. Director
02:14:10
More about ConnectMaine meetings: https://www.maine.gov/connectme/board-meetings/agendas
Sarah Strickland
02:15:51
Will the January 27th application opening be for the all the $15 million?
John Dougherty
02:16:04
Thank You, good input today.
Nick Battista
02:16:43
Sarah - thats one of the questions that remains up in the air, the board has indicated an interest in splitting the funding into multiple rounds
Peggy Schaffer, ConnectMaine
02:16:49
No. we have from the beginning been talking about 2 rounds with the $15M
Sarah Strickland
02:17:39
Thanks Peggy!
Stephenie, Asst. Director
02:18:15
On-going input welcomed: https://www.maine.gov/connectme/grants/engagement
Stephenie, Asst. Director
02:18:50
George: We're also planning for this process to carry into future strategic planning; there will be future opportunities to engage in ConnectMaine activities
Peggy Schaffer, ConnectMaine
02:20:00
I would encourage everyone to read our statute and rules. Those are the guiding documents that set forth the structure and process we need to live within
Peggy Schaffer, ConnectMaine
02:20:10
They are both on our webpage
Don Flewelling
02:20:18
True, we are not starting with a blank slate here. We have 14 years worth of Authority experience.
George OKeefe
02:20:18
👍
Stephenie, Asst. Director
02:20:18
And those documents are shared on the engagement webpage
Maxwell Johnstone
02:20:42
Thank you for having this
Kate Stoodley
02:20:50
Thank you!
Gabrian McPhail
02:20:51
Thank you! Great Process! Thanks CBI!
William Amaral
02:20:53
Nice "connecting" w y'all