Ranking 43rd in the US in terms of broadband access, Maine lag behinds the majority of the states. Maine’s counties have fairly even high-speed coverage, with the exception of the central-most county of Piscataquis, which has comparatively lower coverage. While this northeasternmost state has relatively widespread broadband coverage, its average download speed of 82.8 Mbps remains lower than most states, and even with these lower speeds, the cost of internet in Maine is relatively high.
The Digital Divide in Maine
In Maine, there lies a digital divide between residents who have access to high-speed, low-priced internet services and those who do not. This technological inequality can be seen in the following data.
When it comes to high-speed broadband, 95.3% of Mainers have access to a wired connection with speeds of 25 Mbps or faster. Still, 35,000 people in Maine are left without a broadband connection capable of the same speeds, and another 12,000 people are unable to get wired internet services at all at their place of residence. Additionally, 137,000 Mainers have access to only one wired provider at their home, despite the fact that there are 83 internet providers currently operating within Maine.
As for internet cost in Maine, affordability data shows that a mere 4.5% of the state’s residents have access to a low-priced internet plan, costing $60 or less per month. This figure is drastically lower than the national average of 51.5% of Americans with access to the same.
A few of Maine’s cities are better off when it comes to broadband access than the rest. The five cities with the best mix of internet coverage, speed, and pricing in Maine are Kittery Point, Eliot, Springvale, Sanford, and Lebanon, with Kittery Point ranking as the best-connected city in the state.
Read more on how Maine stacks up against other states nationwide here.
Since 2010, almost $5 million in federal grants has been awarded to the state of Maine’s Connect ME initiative, which aims to “facilitate the universal availability of broadband to all Maine households and businesses and help them understand the valuable role it can play in enriching their lives and helping their communities thrive.”
An additional $25,402,904 in federal grant funding has gone toward fueling the development of broadband infrastructure within Maine.
The information above is taken from a mix of public and private datasets. More about our data here.