The vote on June 8 in Rockport, Camden, and Thomaston can move Midcoast Internet forward as a nonprofit 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.” A
s the Chair and Executive Committee Member of the Midcoast Internet Coalition, the group of communities and organizations championing this project, we appreciate the skill, knowledge, expertise, and dedication of these regional representatives that have worked long and hard to get this effort this far.
Please don’t be fooled by big corporate interests that have and will continue to oppose this effort. Those corporations have financial interests at stake. They have not provided our region with either quality internet service or reasonable prices. Instead, we see published articles and advertisements from hired lobbying groups claiming to represent the interests of Maine residents. We urge you not to fall for these big corporate tactics but to focus on the facts.
The facts are: the Midcoast Internet Development Corporation will be a regional nonprofit that will build universal open access for every residence and business in our participating Midcoast towns.
Midcoast Internet has specifically not been given the authority to tax our towns or its residents. All funds will be raised through grants, private investment, and other funding sources – NO TAXES and NO RECOURSE TO THE TOWNS FOR FUTURE TAXES. This is a primary reason why all our Select Boards – Camden, Rockport and Thomaston – have voted unanimously to place this 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.
These outside corporate and political interests have also made false claims of “the government” owning, operating, and being the service provider. But 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. For-profit companies send those corporate profits back to their shareholders – a legitimate goal for every day goods and services but not a sustainable goal for public infrastructure. Government builds our roads and then private companies own the trucking companies that deliver goods and services to us.
And so it is with Midcoast Internet – as communities we will own the fiber infrastructure (the road), but the experienced professional internet service providers will deliver broadband to our homes and businesses.
- 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
A great model. Hundreds of successful municipal and regional models exist throughout the United States, and right here in Rockport Village, delivering 1 Gigabit of speed through GWI since 2014, and one that we are proud of. Thus, we work tirelessly to bring this to life for others in the Midcoast region.
On June 8, 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
Robert Falciani, Chair, Camden Select Board
Denise Munger, Executive Committee, Midcoast Internet Coalition; Vice Chair Rockport Select Board
Audra Caler, Camden Town Manager