Apr 26, 2022
In this podcast episode, Andrew Butcher talks about his work in broadband in Maine and the development of the new Maine Connectivity Authority. Andrew shares some helpful tips to bring broadband to small communities and emphasizes the importance of connectivity for work, health and education. Nancy and Andrew connect about their love of post offices and the postal service, relating the movement of mail to broadband.
3:33 – Andrew explains how he got his start in broadband.
5:40 – Andrew talks more about stitching together the quilt of broadband infrastructure in Maine.
8:28 – Andrew describes the advancements in internet connectivity for communities including Blue Hill and Isle au Haut.
10:27 – Nancy and Andrew discuss their affection for post offices.
17:07 – Andrew explains how President Obama was an inspiration to him as a community organizer.
19:52 – Andrew describes the purpose of the Maine Connectivity Authority.
25:47 – Andrew lists what your community needs to be ready for broadband.
31:53 – Andrew shares what happens to communities when they do not have adequate connectivity.
36:12 – Andrew provides a checklist of things a community needs to do to be eligible to receive grant funds.
46:40 – Andrew shares some books that have been helpful to him.
“Maine is still a place with a significant amount of space and not a lot of humans. People will come and if we want to be proactive about that, if we want to manage that kind of growth, we're going to have to allow people to be able to work from home, to visit with their doctors and to be able to learn remotely.” – Andrew Butcher, president of the Maine Connectivity Authority.
National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA): https://www.ntia.doc.gov/
Maine Broadband Coalition: https://www.mainebroadbandcoalition.org/
Greater Franklin Development Council: https://greaterfranklin.org/
AARP Maine: https://states.aarp.org/maine/
Tubes by Andrew Blum: https://www.amazon.com/Tubes-Journey-Internet-Andrew-Blum/dp/0061994952
Fiber by Susan Crawford: https://www.amazon.com/Fiber-Coming-Revolution_and-America-Might/dp/0300228503
Farm Fresh Broadband by Christopher Ali: https://www.amazon.com/Farm-Fresh-Broadband-Connectivity-Information/dp/0262543060
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About the guest:
Andrew Butcher is the president of the Maine Connectivity Authority, a new quasi-governmental agency created in 2021 to serve as the primary organization to plan, develop and invest in broadband infrastructure in Maine. Andrew formerly served as the director of the Maine Broadband Coalition and director of innovation and resilience at the Greater Portland Council of Governments. He has a background in community and economic development, social entrepreneurship and public policy. He believes the more connected we are, the more resilient we will be in the face of a rapidly changing world. He lives in Portland, is a father of two and husband of the 2022 Maine Business Leader of the Year, Julie Butcher Pezzino.
Looking to connect: