Stories of our connected and rapidly changing region.


To Preserve Rustic Way Of Life, Maine Islanders Clamor For Modern Internet Access

Eighth-generation Islesford lobsterman Nick Hadlock shovels herring as son Elliott looks on. The island will lose its abysmal internet services this year – to be replaced by a high-tech system islanders voted to back with a $1.2 million bond. Photo by Fred Bever for Maine Public

Maine is the most rural state in the nation and, also, one with some of the poorest internet access. Out on the coastal islands, internet service ranges from lousy to nonexistent.

Residents of the Cranberry Isles, from lobstermen to telecommuters, are banding together to pay for costly new infrastructure they hope will help preserve a threatened way of life.

Summertime in the Cranberry Isles feels pretty idyllic. Golden badges of sun bounce from the water, backlighting lobster boats, yachts and ferries that shuttle around this small circle of unbridged islands a couple miles seaward from Acadia National Park.

But while the constant water traffic keeps the islands physically connected, residents chatting at the Great Cranberry Island Country Store are worried about a different kind of connection — internet connection.

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