China broadband committee set to present request to select board

by Mary Grow

China Broadband Committee (CBC) members held a short meeting Aug. 10, primarily to approve a request to select board members before that board’s Aug. 14 meeting.

CBC members’ focus is on applying for a state grant through the Maine Connectivity Authority (MCA) to extend and improve internet service to China residents. They are working through Direct Communications, an Idaho-based company that promotes rural broadband, and its local subsidiary, Unitel, of Unity, Maine.

The second round of applications is due in September. Having not been awarded funds in the previous round, CBC members hope to do better this time.

CBC chairman Robert O’Connor had drafted a letter supporting the application for select board members to sign. Committee members unanimously approved it. He also intended to ask people who signed supporting letters for the first application in the fall of 2022 to re-sign and re-date them.

O’Connor said Direct Communications will be the grant applicant, with China a proposed recipient. MCA procedures have changed, and the maps that supposedly show what areas need better service – or any service at all – have been made more detailed, he said.

Another CBC meeting is scheduled for 4 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 17, in the portable building in the town office complex, to continue grant application planning.


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