Broadband providers should contribute



Dear Editor:

I am writing concerning the article addressing the broadband issue for small businesses [“Broadband deserts discussed at hearing,” Sept. 12]. [Lisa] Hanscom mentioned that it would be a shame to offer businesses high-speed connection but not residents. While I agree that the option should be open to all, if we start with businesses that are prepared to pay the high costs for this service I believe it would create momentum enough for that to be an option in the near future.

Any kind of forward motion in this would be positive and I feel that a decent number of residents would be hesitant to pay these costs, especially if there is no direct way they would be making money back from the purchase. I share this opinion on the comment about libraries as well.

What bothers me about the suggested bill is that businesses wanting to receive the service would be required to match it with 20 percent. While this will indeed help bring about the change, I think that the providers themselves should be required to contribute. Especially if, as the article mentions, they have been using public funds and grants meant for universal broadband to pay for less than operational wireless networks.

My family and I feel the effects of this neglect. My mother owns and operates a small business that relies on online sales. We have opted to drop our internet provider because over the years no matter what the brand of the one provider available in our area the connection cut out four or five times on the very best days. On the worst, it could be the whole day. We now depend on our limiting “unlimited” data. This problem sheds light on an opinion that I’m sure many living in rural areas share. If a company offers a service in exchange for our money and that service fails to meet what is offered, the company should take responsibility and fix the issues instead of playing the manipulative lover and whispering in our ear “And who else is going to be there for you if you walk away?”

Nikolai Flanzala

Castine

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