A worker installs a guy wire on a utility pole while his crew lashes fiber-optic cable along River Road in Bucksport in this 2011 file photo. Credit: Gabor Degre

Rural areas in Maine are getting a boost of more than $500,000 from the state as part of a drive to bring broadband to more communities.

The ConnectMaine Authority said its board approved $554,500 in grants to seven communities. Argyle, Bremen and Hudson received infrastructure grants to bring fiber-optic service to nearly 1,000 locations, while Swans Island, Litchfield, the East Grand Lake region and Sanford received community planning grants.

The communities are matching the grants with more than $1 million.

The broadband improvements are needed to “spur innovation, create opportunity, provide telehealth and remote learning, and build a strong, diverse economy,” said Gov. Janet Mills, a Democrat.