A recent episode of MSNBC’s Morning Joe included an interview with our Sen. Angus King. The subject of the piece was the infrastructure bill now being discussed-debated in the White House with a bipartisan group, including Sen. King.

At the beginning of the interview, Sen. King singled out the importance of the broadband part of the bill due to the large rural population in Maine. As I drive over the rusting Frank J. Wood bridge, I see that and other related infrastructure issues as vastly more important to this specific legislation than broadband.

The fact is that broadband access is less a structural issue these days and more of a wealth inequity one in our plutocratic country. The cable monopolies don’t extend their infrastructure to rural areas simply due to cost. Elon Musk’s Starlink high speed internet is already up and running in some selected rural areas and Jeff Bezos will follow with his Kuiper satellite system. That solves the rural broadband infrastructure issue and should not be part of this bill.

So Mr. King, in a country with the 13th rated overall infrastructure in the world, 17th for its roads, 10th for its ports, 231,000 bridges in need of repair, let’s focus on the needs where they truly are and quit muddying the legislative waters.

Even with the help of Mr. Musk and Mr. Bezos, we live in a shameful plutocracy where the top 1% have over 30% of the wealth and the bottom 50% have only 2% of the wealth. That 30% is worth $25 trillion. U.S corporations hide $2.1 trillion offshore. How many of those rural non-connected Mainers, or those in inner cities or poorer areas of this country can afford the $70-$100 a month to pay for available high speed internet or the computers-hardware to connect to it?

Where do we get the money to pay for the real Infrastructure is-sues and to help the less wealthy get Internet access? Guess.

Jeff Runyon,
Brunswick

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