The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted how vital it is for Mainers to have access to high-speed internet service. Almost overnight, small businesses had to switch from in-person sales to solely relying on online sales. Doctors began having to rely on telehealth to treat their patients. Children transitioned to completing their assignments in virtual classrooms. Communicating with our friends and family members became computerized.

For the approximately 85,000 households across Maine that lack the ability to connect to high-speed internet, simply completing the tasks of daily life has become difficult. Children are spending their nights in parking lots of libraries in order to do schoolwork that requires an internet connection. Business owners without the means to sell their wares online are losing customers. Those without access to reliable high-speed internet cannot connect with their doctors and are becoming increasingly socially isolated.

During the July 14 primary, voters will have the opportunity to help rural Maine gain access to affordable and reliable high-speed internet. You can help the local business owner, the doctor, and the student by voting “yes” on Question 1, a bond issue providing $15,000,000 to fund high-speed internet expansion to underserved and unserved areas. It is imperative that Mainers have access to high-speed internet in order to function in today’s world.

Harrison Quidort

Portland

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