The vote on June 8th in Rockport, Camden, and Thomaston can move Midcoast Internet forward as a non-profit regional municipal utility and create its legal entity, the Midcoast Internet Development Corporation.

Support remains far-reaching, with many calling the project and its goals “wonderful,” “a no-brainer,” and “key to the future of the Midcoast.” The group of communities and organizations championing this project have worked long and hard. We appreciate the skill, knowledge, expertise, and dedication of these regional representatives.

Big corporations have not provided our region with quality internet service or reasonable prices. With their financial interests at stake, these corporate interests have and will continue to oppose Midcoast Internet. We have heard public statements, read published articles, and seen advertisements from hired lobbying groups falsely claiming to represent the interests of Maine residents.

We urge you to focus on the facts:

The Midcoast Internet Development Corporation will be a regional non-profit utility that will build a universal open access network to serve every residence and business in our participating Midcoast towns.

Midcoast Internet has no authority to tax our towns or its residents. All funds will be raised through grants, private investment, and other funding sources – No taxes. No recourse to the towns for future taxes is a primary reason why our Select Boards – Camden, Rockport and Thomaston – voted unanimously to place the Midcoast Internet Development Corporation on the ballot. Our towns would not have made this recommendation if there was a tax impact to our residents or recourse against our towns in the future.

Outside corporate and political interests have made claims of “the government” owning, operating, and being the service provider. While municipal ownership is a key component of our model, the broadband network will not be government operated nor will the government provide your internet service.

Municipal ownership is key because of its unique ability to keep the network assets and its profits in the hands of the regional communities for reinvestment back into our communities and to ensure equitable services to all residents and businesses.

With Midcoast Internet, the communities own the fiber optic network, with experienced professional internet service providers (ISPs) delivering broadband to our homes and businesses.

The Midcoast Internet model is:

• Community ownership

• Professional Operation

• Professional service providers

• Open access network

• Fiber to the Premise (Residential and Business)

• Lower Costs for Service

• Higher Quality Service

• Public-Private Partnership, focused on universal coverage for unserved and underserved

• State-of-the-Art Fiber Optic Technology

• Local Customer Service and Support

• With No Tax Increase

Hundreds of successful open access municipal and regional networks exist throughout the United States, including one here in Rockport Village. It’s a great model. One that we are proud of. Thus, we work tirelessly to bring fiber-to-the-premise through the non-profit Midcoast Internet municipal utility.

On June 8th, Midcoast Internet will take the important first step to bring these benefits to residents and businesses in our communities.

Best regards, and with great hope for the future,

 

Debra Hall

Chair Midcoast Internet Coalition

Chair Rockport Select Board

 

Denise Munger

Executive Committee, Midcoast Internet Coalition

Vice chair Rockport Select Board

 

Bob Falciani

Chair, Camden Select Board

 

Audra Caler

Town Manager, Camden