Opinion: Bob Falciani and Debra Hall

Camden and Rockport Voters Can Bring Cheaper, Faster, and Better Internet to All Residents

Fri, 05/21/2021 - 10:30am

The voters in Camden and Rockport can take the first step in creating a community-owned municipal utility for affordable, high-speed internet connectivity.  Midcoast Internet will bring to our communities cheaper, faster, and better broadband services. The fiber optic network will be community owned. And the project will not raise taxes.

Article 6 in Camden and Article 26 in Rockport authorize the Select Board in each town to enter into an interlocal agreement to form the non-profit Midcoast Internet Development Corporation (MIDC), with the expressed purpose to design, finance, build, and partner for the delivery of fiber optic broadband services to all residents and businesses in the participating towns. 

Midcoast Internet and its associated fiber optic network will be funded with federal and state infrastructure grants, along with private investment, and in cooperation with the state’s premier lending institutions for lines of credit, loans, revenue bonds without guarantees by our towns or recourse to our taxpayers. 

“Creating this community-owned municipal utility would have no tax impact on residents or businesses,” said Camden Select Board Chair Robert Falciani.

“Ensuring that all homes and businesses have access to state-of-the-art connectivity, at an affordable price, has been and continues to be the focus,” adds Rockport Select Board Chair Debra Hall. “The interlocal agreement is the result of years of diligent work by Camden and Rockport residents, our Economic Development Committees, and our Select Board members, who have focused on bringing broadband to our region without raising taxes.”

Falciani continued, “We see the municipal utility and its high-speed fiber optic network expanding opportunities for economic development across all sectors, along with the demonstrated benefits for telehealth, remote work, and online education.”

When approved, the community-owned municipal utility will be composed of the Charter Towns of Rockport and Camden. Other towns in the Midcoast Internet Coalition will be added through interlocal agreement and based on a phased build and scheduled service rollout. 

The Midcoast Internet fiber network will be “open access,” with multiple internet service providers (ISPs) delivering best-in-class connectivity at affordable prices.  

The Camden warrant, which is virtually identical to Rockport’s, reads: Shall the Town of Camden authorize the Select Board to enter into an Interlocal Agreement with other municipalities for the purpose of creating the Midcoast Internet Development Corporation? The Select Boards of Rockport and Camden have unanimously endorsed the project and the interlocal agreement, and now ask the community to vote on June 8th.

For more information, go to: www.MidcoastInternet.com For recent news and updates, search and “Like” Midcoast Internet on Facebook.com

Bob Falciani is chair of the Camden Select Board and Debra Hall is chair of the Rockport Select Board