Earlier this year, City Council Chairman Ben Sprague shared a document detailing ideas he hoped would bring more people to work and live in Bangor. The document, “A population growth strategy for Bangor,” shared a few challenges that Bangor has had to tackle in the past few years. Sprague listed some of his ideas for solving these issues that relate to the city of Bangor, including 38 proposed solutions, from business tactics to integrating the youth population, with many more in between. “Cooperate with regional entities on a positive Bangor brand” as well as “support workforce development initiatives especially technology training” are just some suggestions from his discussion paper.
Sprague also discusses “recruitment and retention of businesses and jobs” to “promoting social lifestyle, cultural diversity, and entertainment” in his paper. Another clear point throughout his writing was the focus on technology and how the city can use it to keep people interested in Bangor.
One of his main points suggested that Bangor “develop our technology infrastructure with a focus on expanding high-speed internet.” The development of high speed internet could be a clear and powerful first step in the city’s revitalization. When asked about the possibility of Bangor getting fiber for high-speed internet service last week during a visit with students at the University of Maine, Sprague said, “One of the challenge for Bangor is that we still have streets and sidewalks that were made for horses and buggies. There are certain things we can’t get because the infrastructure is so old.”
The availability of a fiber-optic internet and television service such as Google Fiber would certainly be a great step towards bringing more people to work and live in Bangor. “Google Fiber and high speed internet would be a game changer,” said Sprague.
The possibility of upgrading technology, specifically internet connections, may still be far away for the city of Bangor. The process to modernize the city can potentially help to increase its population. Some strategies Sprague proposed may be easier to carry out, but the potential gains by improving Bangor with high-speed, fiber internet technology is worth investigating for the future.