The Maine Broadband Coalition takes a pro-active approach on many bills pending this session in Augusta.

A collection of Maine businesses, municipalities and nonprofit organizations has formed the Maine Broadband Coalition to help state policy leaders improve the quality and speed of Internet services.

The organization wants “to assemble cogent, fact-based information to help public policy makers and Maine citizens make the best choices about building a robust and productive information technology infrastructure – decisions we are all facing right now,” according to a news release from the group.

It has established a website, MaineBroadbandCoalition.org, and posted its first YouTube video. Supporters of the coalition testified on several bills last week in front of the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Energy, Utilities and Technology. More than 30 bills dealing with broadband service in Maine have been introduced in this session.

Carla Dickstein, senior vice president for research and policy development at Coastal Enterprises Inc., a business development organization, said the coalition has been organizing for several months, but is not limiting its lifespan to the current legislative session.

“This group has come together very quickly, and in the end I expect it to be very broad, diverse, and to endure for several years. Building a world-class infrastructure for Maine is truly comparable to what rural electrification was in the 1920s and 1930s; it’s a monumental undertaking,” Dickstein said in the release.

MBC is recruiting supporters from municipalities, business and industry, research labs, social justice organizations, educational institutions, libraries, health care and agriculture.

Founding members include AARP Maine, Axiom Technologies, CEI, Cornerstone Communications, Dream Local Digital, Envision Maine, Full Circle America, Grow Smart Maine, GWI, Health Info Net, The Island Institute, Maine Center for Entrepreneurial Development, Maine Fiber Co., Maine Mayors’ Coalition, Maine Media Workshops + College, Maine Office of the Public Advocate, Mobilize Maine, NBT Solutions, Networkmaine, Northern Maine Development Commission, Piscataquis County Economic Development Council, Sanford Regional Economic Growth Council, Small Business Advocate in the Maine Secretary of State’s office, the towns of Isleboro, Orono and Rockport, and the Washington County Fiber Initiative.