With the pandemic emphasizing the need for greater internet connectivity over the last year, a group of midcoast towns has come together in an attempt to create a municipally-owned broadband network in the Knox County region.
The group, the Midcoast Internet Coalition, is currently working to create the nonprofit entity that will oversee the establishment of the broadband network and is asking Knox County to consider allocating $7.7 million in federal funding the county is set to receive through the American Rescue Plan to the broadband project.
The type of utility that the coalition is seeking to establish would be a broadband network in which the fiber infrastructure is municipally-owned and developed. Private internet providers would then pay to operate on the network and customers would pay the internet providers for service.
By building a municipally-owned…