July is certainly an unusual time for an election, and this year is anything but business as usual for any of us. But Question 1 at the July 14 election here in Maine is very important to everyone: our young students, our working people, and our growing retiree population alike.

The $15 million bond in Question 1 will be matched by $30 million in private, federal and local support, effectively tripling the impact of this investment and putting at least $45 million to work connecting Mainers with high-speed broadband internet connections.

COVID-19 has certainly emphasized the need for better communication with our friends, families, our schools, workplace, as well as our health care providers, to name just a handful.

Children are trying to get an education from home. Many company employees are attempting to work from home to keep their business running, and to maintain an income each week. We are now beginning to connect with our health care providers via high resolution video conference calls to get advice. We are working to stay in touch with friends and family on Zoom calls to replace the risk of face-to-face contact until a vaccine is found and implemented.

Although our larger towns and cities generally have access to broadband, there are tremendous gaps in internet service and quality in our more rural areas here in Maine. In many cases, internet service providers are bypassing Maine, making their investments in more populated urban areas to our south. Therefore, as a rural state, we need to make up for the lack of private investment to make sure that every Mainer has access to this critically important resource.

Please vote yes to Question 1 on July 14 or by absentee ballot. Thank you!

 

Larry Bell

Litchfield


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