Maine broadband authority's new head is coastal specialist

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — The new chair of an authority that seeks to expand broadband in Maine is a policy specialist from an organization that works on sustainability for Maine's island and coastal communities.

Nick Battista, senior policy officer at Island Institute, is the chair of ConnectMaine Authority, state officials said. The authority is tasked with supporting broadband investments and administering money to increase broadband access. Battista has been working on Island Institute's project about coastal broadband for four years, the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development said in a statement.

The ConnectMaine Authority has seven voting board members who serve three-year terms. Its job is to facilitate universal broadband for Maine households and businesses, the economic development department said.