Our Katahdin sees broadband development as one of the pillars of a forward-looking economic development strategy for the Katahdin Region. Over the past two years, we have been planning and working with Medway, East Millinocket and Millinocket to create a vision for the future of broadband in the region and to begin implementation of the plan.
After being awarded a ConnectME Community Planning Grant, Our Katahdin hired Axiom Technologies to help create a broadband plan with input from the three communities through a broadband committee. Last fall, we received follow-up technical assistance from the EPA Cool and Connected program to explore ways broadband could revitalize our main streets, and were awarded funds from the Northern Border Regional Commission to build out fiber to businesses.
Phased broadband plan for the Katahdin region:
Phase 1: Hotspots
Hotspots will demonstrate how important connectivity is to visitors and locals, help all three communities capture tourism opportunities, set the stage for necessary, but costly, connection investments, and support digital inclusion.
Goal: Install hotspots located in key areas in downtown Millinocket (3 on Penobscot Ave.), East Millinocket (1 on Town Hall) and Medway (1 in the Recreation Area).
Status: Three hotspots are installed and running in Millinocket. We have quotes for installation in East Millinocket and Medway, but need to plan and do the installation.
Phase 2: Fiber to Premise in the business district
Goal: Light up key economic development areas in Millinocket, East Millinocket and Medway with high speed fiber to premise to attract downtown development and investment, and support entrepreneurs. Suggested locations along the downtown corridor include businesses on Penobscot Ave. in Millinocket, the Industrial Park in East Millinocket, and the Nissen Building in Medway.
Status: Funds from Northern Border Regional Commission awarded for a portion of fiber build-out in downtown Millinocket. The density of businesses is highest in this location, so it will be the most cost efficient location to begin the build-out. We are interested in exploring creative funding options and regional opportunities.
Phase 3: Internet to the Lakes region
Goal: Capitalize on a new wave of seasonal camp owners who could play and work in the region.
Status: Outline of a plan with currently available technology.
Phase 4: Fiber to Premise for residences
Goal: Use funds from phase 3 to finance the build out of fiber to high density residential areas.
Status: Outline of a plan, completely dependent on a successful business plan for financing.