Connect St George Members
Kendra Jo Grindle
Connect St. George is the broadband working group of St. George, Maine. Our mission is to guide the community toward achieving universal access to high-speed reliable internet to support education, local businesses, healthcare, civic engagement, and aging in place.
June 2021 Update:
The Broadband Committee of the St George Community Development Corporation recently submitted a broadband infrastructure grant application to the Connect Maine Authority, a State organization that encourages rural broadband development. The goal of the grant is to bring wired high speed internet service to approximately 200 residences in St George (over 17 miles of road). Applying for the grant was the culmination of more than two years of work by the committee to identify “last mile” needs—homes outside an internet service provider’s network. Our work included conducting a physical audit of all roads and residences in St George to identify gaps in broadband service. Through this and other community outreach efforts, we found that over 85% of St George has access to Charter/Spectrum’s broadband service, leaving a service gap of 15%. We presented our audit results to several local Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to get their feedback on how to fill in that service gap. With their help, we concluded that Charter / Spectrum is best positioned to affordably complete the broadband network on the St George peninsula.
If the grant request is successful, one of the Connect Maine Authority grant requirements is that Spectrum will complete the build-out within 12 months; this means that currently unserved roads could have service by Summer of 2022.
The total project cost is $437,554 and the grant request is $104,271 (or 24%). Spectrum has agreed to contribute $271K of the total cost (or 62%). A Maine Community Foundation Grant of $8,000 and a request of the Town of $10,000 will put the needed balance of approximately $45,000 within reach through private donations. Once the grant is received the committee will begin raising the remaining needed funds.
Charter / Spectrum will build on their combination fiber/coaxial network. It is capable of speeds approaching 1GB. They offer multiple plans for cable and internet service all above minimum acceptable broadband speeds, including low income Internet assistance for qualifying households.