Maine Revised Statutes

§9204. Duties of authority

1. Establish criteria defining unserved and underserved areas.  The authority, by rule adopted pursuant to section 9205, subsection 3, shall establish criteria to define unserved and underserved areas. The authority shall establish criteria that ensure that an area is not determined to be an unserved or underserved area if the effect of that determination would inhibit or impede private investment in any area or diminish the value of prior investment in advanced communications technology infrastructure within any area. Criteria established by the authority must include but are not limited to whether investment is planned in an area within a reasonable time. Criteria established by the authority to define unserved and underserved areas with respect to broadband service must include the percentage of households with access to broadband service within a municipality or other appropriate geographic area.
[ 2009, c. 63, §1 (AMD) .]
2. Enhance communications technology infrastructure.  The authority, through partnerships, grants, direct investment, loans, demonstration projects and other appropriate means, shall, in a competitively neutral fashion and without giving preference to any one form of technology over another:
A. Monitor wireless coverage in areas where the authority determines the quality of the coverage is inadequate; [2005, c. 665, §3 (NEW).]
B. Determine whether an area is an unserved or underserved area; [2005, c. 665, §3 (NEW).]
C. Expand the availability of broadband service to residential and small business customers in unserved or underserved areas. In awarding grants, the authority shall give priority to those proposals that, relative to other proposals, extend access to broadband service to a higher percentage of an unserved area within a municipality or other appropriate geographic area; [2009, c. 63, §2 (AMD).]
D. Expand the availability of broadband with bandwidth, synchronicity, reliability and security adequate to serve business, education and enterprise consumers in unserved or underserved areas; [2005, c. 665, §3 (NEW).]
E. Otherwise enhance the State's communications technology infrastructure in unserved and underserved areas; and [2005, c. 665, §3 (NEW).]
F. Cover reasonable administrative costs of the authority. [2005, c. 665, §3 (NEW).]
[ 2009, c. 63, §2 (AMD) .]
3. Additional duties.  In addition to its duties established under this chapter, the authority shall:
A. Collect, aggregate, coordinate and disseminate information and data concerning communications services and advanced communications technology infrastructure in the State; [2005, c. 665, §3 (NEW).]
B. Track investment in advanced communications technology infrastructure; [2005, c. 665, §3 (NEW).]
C. Continually assess the availability of and need for advanced communications technology infrastructure in unserved or underserved areas within the State; [2005, c. 665, §3 (NEW).]
D. Identify and secure federal and other funding sources for broadband or wireless deployment or education; [2005, c. 665, §3 (NEW).]
E. Identify opportunities for coordination among providers, consumers and state and local governmental entities, including coordination with the statewide emergency radio network; and [2005, c. 665, §3 (NEW).]
F. Create and facilitate public awareness and educational programs to encourage the use of broadband services. [2005, c. 665, §3 (NEW).]
[ 2005, c. 665, §3 (NEW) .]
4. Limitations on activities of the authority.  The authority may not develop, acquire, fund, coordinate or otherwise undertake any project or make any grant, direct investment or loan under this chapter unless:
A. The action is taken on behalf of, in partnership with or in support of one or more communications service providers that are remitting assessments to the authority under section 9211; and [2005, c. 665, §3 (NEW).]
B. The authority determines that, without the authority's action, the installation of adequate advanced communications technology infrastructure in an unserved or underserved area would not otherwise occur. [2005, c. 665, §3 (NEW).]
Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, the authority may not provide any wireline, wireless, satellite, voice, data or video service at retail or wholesale.
[ 2005, c. 665, §3 (NEW) .]
5. Public notice and opportunity for private investment.  Prior to taking any action described in subsection 4, the authority shall provide public notice of its intention to take the action. The authority may not take the action if a service provider franchised or certificated to provide a communications service to the area submits a timely certification to the authority that the service provider will commence within 45 days and will complete within one year the installation of sufficient advanced communications technology infrastructure to provide broadband or wireless service in a manner that would render the authority's action unnecessary or redundant.
[ 2005, c. 665, §3 (NEW) .]
SECTION HISTORY
2005, c. 665, §3 (NEW). 2009, c. 63, §§1, 2 (AMD).

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