Saucier pushes bill to boost Net access

     AUGUSTA — Rep. Robert Saucier is reintroducing a bill to expand broadband access in rural Maine.

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Contributed photo

Jeff Baker, owner of JB Sheet Metal in Caribou, crafted this device to protect lynx from accidental trapping.  

     “Unfortunately, the bill I authored this year to expand broadband to rural Maine did not receive the necessary funding to become law,” said Saucier, D-Presque Isle. “However, I am not giving up. I am reintroducing a bill to expand broadband in Maine and will continue to fight for the local businesses in Aroostook County that desperately need high-speed internet.”

     The proposed legislation would expand access to high-speed internet access throughout rural Maine.

     Currently, 97 percent of American consumers look online for goods and services but 59 percent of Maine’s small businesses don’t have a website, according to Scott Levitan, director of marketing at Google.

     “High-speed, high-capacity internet access is becoming more and more important to small businesses,” said Saucier. “Without it, it’s much harder for them to get the information they need and to interact with suppliers and customers. In Aroostook County, a lot of the small businesses that need better broadband access are farms.”

     Last year, Saucier introduced a bill to increase ConnectME’s funding. The ConnectME Authority is a unit of Maine state government whose mission is facilitating universal availability of broadband to all Mainers and helping them understand the valuable role it can play in enriching their lives and helping their communities and businesses thrive.


     Saucier is serving his second term in the Maine Legislature and represents part of Presque Isle.