How Bowdoin residents will access the internet will be outlined at a special meeting tonight.
It was estimated in March that about 281 households in Bowdoin are without high-speed internet access. For cable companies that provide the service, building infrastructure to connect rural homes is not worth the cost.
The town had a prior contract with internet and cable provider Comcast. After the agreement’s expiration, residents and selectmen questioned the approximately $400,000 cost to provide service to those not connected.
The solution will come through Bowdoin’s current technology partner, Axiom, whose president Mark Ouellette is expected to be on hand for tonight’s meeting, which will highlight the expected costs to the town and for residents.
On a state level, ConnectMe recently launched a campaign to bring action and access to Maine homes. ConnectMe is a state-run program that works to facilitate broadband access to all Maine households.
“The Action Plan sets forth initiatives that will ensure Maine’s broadband needs are met within five years of initial funding and envisions meaningful local, state, federal and private-sector investment,” the organization said in a statement.
Neighboring Bowdoinham recently applied for a ConnectMe $50,000 grant, but is currently waiting to hear how the funds will be allocated. The town applied in March, but ConnectME put a hold on the grants as it works with providers to create a centralized map to determine broadband needs. Bowdoinham has an estimated 140 households without high-speed access.
Monday’s meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. and will take place at Bowdoin Central School.