MACHIAS, Maine — Some 83,000 homes and businesses in our state don't have access to broadband internet service.

But last week, the Legislature could not pass a bond proposal that included $15 million for broadband expansion.

The Mills administration says it will try again to pass it in the winter session. 

In the meantime, Rep. Jared Golden invited some important names to Machias to identify potential changes congress can make to improve broadband access for small businesses in rural Maine. 

Those group met Friday afternoon at the University of Maine Machias to give the people of Washington County a taste of Washington.

Small business owner and Roque Bluffs selectwoman Mary Hanscom spoke about what it's like to run her businesses from her small town. 

This challenge is real for rural Maine, but also across rural America.

Including in Minnesota, where the committee on small businesses subcommittee on contracting and infrastructure also held a field hearing.

"The problems, the challenges, the solutions are very much the same. In Maine, in Minnesota and probably all over the country," Democratic Rep. Golden said.

"Broadband and that connectivity is not a luxury anymore a necessity for our rural hospitals, rural schools, and expansion of small business in rural communities such as the one we're in today," said Rep. Pete Stauber, R-Minn.

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