High-speed, reliable internet is essential for any Maine community, business, school, entrepreneur, farmer, mill, factory, restaurant, caregiver, home office, hospital or clinic to function in our modern economy.
I am a retired nurse and I know how critical it is for patients to have access to telemedicine and to resources about their conditions and care options. Telemedicine is increasingly more important as patients are able to have appointments with out-of-town or out-of-state medical specialists who are not available in their locale. These services are just as important for family members and caregivers.
Without high-speed internet, family caregivers aren’t able to connect as easily with family and friends. They cannot conduct research about their loved one’s condition. They also cannot offset social isolation through online social activities, including personal chats and group face-to-face meetings.
Maine is the oldest state in the nation. Affordable and reliable internet service helps older adults age in place productively and safely with access to telemedicine, civic engagement, friends and family, entertainment, online learning and other internet-based applications that provide social interaction and help with health challenges. A good internet connection can decrease depression and loneliness.
My grandchildren also need access to the internet. They need it for school, especially right now, or risk missing classes and assignments, ultimately falling behind.
Maine has the opportunity to get on the right track through a referendum in the July 14 primary. Please support this referendum by voting yes on Question 1. We need high-speed internet, not just now when we are all staying at home, but all the time.
Maine currently lags behind the nation when it comes to high-speed internet development. Particularly our rural communities face challenges by being disconnected. Passing the referendum to improve access to high-speed internet will help turn that around.
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