This week: We hear from the Maine Connectivity Authority's Maggie Drummond-Bahl on the state's NTIA-approved digital equity plan and its 'five key strategies' for closing the digital divide.

Nicole Ferraro, Editor, host of 'The Divide' podcast

March 25, 2024

At a Glance

  • What Maine learned about its digital divide while creating its digital equity plan (03:40)
  • Overall goal of the digital equity plan and the five key strategies for getting there (10:00)
  • Next steps now that Maine's digital equity plan was approved (17:55)

This episode features Maggie Drummond-Bahl, director of strategic partnerships at the Maine Connectivity Authority (MCA).

Like state broadband offices across the country, the Maine Connectivity Authority is in the midst of creating and implementing plans to close the digital divide with funds supplied by the $42.5 billion Broadband Equity Access and Deployment program (BEAD) and the $2.75 billion Digital Equity Act. And back in February, Maine became the first state in the country to have its digital equity plan approved by the NTIA.

In this episode, Drummond-Bahl shares the background work that went into creating Maine's digital equity plan, for which the state will receive over half a million dollars in federal funding to implement. We also discuss the details of the plan itself – which is built around "five main strategies" for achieving digital equity, said Drummond-Bahl. And we talk about next steps now that the plan has NTIA approval.

Here are a few topics covered in this conversation:

  • Background work that went into creating Maine's digital equity plan, and takeaways about the state's remaining digital divide (03:40)

  • The overall goal of the digital equity plan and the five key strategies for getting there (10:00)

  • Possibility of a "state solution" for broadband affordability if and when the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) goes away (16:40)

  • Next steps for MCA now that the NTIA has approved its digital equity plan (17:55)

For a lightly edited transcript, click the caption button on the podcast player.

Read more about:

The Divide

About the Author(s)

Nicole Ferraro

Editor, host of 'The Divide' podcast, Light Reading

Nicole covers broadband, policy and the digital divide. She hosts The Divide on the Light Reading Podcast and tracks broadband builds in The Buildout column. Some* call her the Broadband Broad (*nobody).

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