High-speed internet expansion needed now

Dear Editor:

Let me make this short and to the point.

July 14 is voting day here in Maine. Some may vote on the 14th and some earlier by absentee. You should all be aware of an important question that you will (and are) being asked to vote on.

Passing Question 1 “is something Maine voters can do right now that will support Maine’s economy, closing the homework gap, and help ensure communities have access to the infrastructure they need to overcome difficult times.” Question 1 affects everyone. Everyone. You may not think you’re affected, but you are. Education, banking, businesses of all kinds, health care, news, television/radio and all the stuff we need and rely on comes to us in some way over the internet. We are virtually dead last in the country, and that’s nothing to be proud of!

In Maine, well, internet access generally stinks! I’ve been using it here in Blue Hill for almost 30 years, and for me, not much has changed — not much at all. If you think it stinks, it does. I’m talking about wired internet to the home or business, and our cell phone service is horrific too. Go ask those who vacation or travel here, just for a reminder!

Now is your chance to help your neighbor, your kids, your grandkids and the businesses and entities that you rely on — by voting “yes” on Question 1.

We, and that is a many “we,” are advocating for better internet for all in Maine. Please take a look at all the specific question information at https://betterinternetformaine.org. If you are on the peninsula, “we” are also trying to help: www.peninsulautility4broadband.org.

You have the internet that you need? You don’t use it? Please, please vote “yes” Question 1 and support the rest of us — please!

Question 1 gives voters a chance to take action now to strengthen the economy, create jobs and build access to high-speed internet, particularly in rural Maine. The $15-million bond will be matched by $30 million in private, federal and local support — tripling the impact of this smart investment and putting at least $45 million to work connecting Mainers.

Access to high-speed internet is extremely important to daily life, especially now amidst the COVID-19 crisis. Everyone needs access. No exceptions.


Butler Smythe

Blue Hill

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