Fran, 77, is having her quarterly follow-up visit with a dermatologist from Boston specializing in the form of cancer she is battling. Even with a doctor shortage in Maine, she is able to have a real-time evaluation using a special camera sent to her.

Matt, 42 and a disabled veteran, is finally able to complete his studies in media production and graduate from college. He’s now looking more than eight job offers — and best of all, seven of them would allow him to work from Readfield.

Susan, 50, retails her local produce online and has also found a niche for selling one hit item, in Argentina of all places. She’s thankful too for remote examinations of one crop by a specialist helping her prevent some costly problems.

Lyn, 28, is an urban planner for the city of Detroit, Michigan. She has a well-paying job that would have been unthinkable to do from Readfield in the past while allowing her to help her aging parents in town. She often remotely flies a drone in Detroit to gather information before uploading engineering files.

Jason, 11, is fascinated by an astronomy offering at school. A planetarium tent was shipped there for a three-week course and Lars from Norway is his class’s holographic guide. He’s now taking Mom, Dad and his sisters to a public show offered to the community in the fourth week.

This is only a glimpse of what benefits Readfield might have access to in the future with a true high-speed fiber broadband service in place for everyone. It’s only a glimpse because, just like when electricity was introduced to homes and businesses, new services and products beyond our current imagination will be created as a result of “turning on the lights.”


While I understand valid questions about Readfield’s proposed project that I’ve heard, I do regret hearing much misinformation about it. I’m asking voters to study the issue carefully and consider its very long-term benefits.

We should all be concerned about Readfield’s digital future. The world we and especially our children will live in will need good solid infrastructure for digital services. Just like today’s reliance on electricity, roads, solid waste management, and other services, we can easily forget they are in place because previous generations invested in and built them.

The purpose of this column is not to do a blow-by-blow push back on all misinformation out there. However, there are a few larger themes that need to be addressed.

First, the project is set up to be funded by bonding, but it is vital to know that the majority of bonding is designed to be paid back by those who sign up for the service. The project moves forward only if a threshold level of subscribers sign up, and I personally see that number growing year over year in the decade ahead. Municipalities have the means to set this type of project bonding up; Spectrum or other players are not going to invest in reliable high-speed fiber available to all.

Secondly, fiber, despite talk about cable or satellites, is the most reliable long-term road we can take. We can offer up to 100 times the actual speed of cable 24/7. We will have reliability that exceeds costly satellite systems, which will not be fully deployed for many years.

Finally, the assertion that “broadband is not an issue or needed” is based solely on someone’s present perception. It’s the future I urge us to consider. Currently we are served by a cable system that is costly to upgrade, aging, not available equitably to all, and uses a predatory pricing model. If the pandemic has taught us anything, it is that connectivity can enhance our lives tremendously, even in a small rural community.


We can make the opening stories in this column come true by investing in our future in a cost-effective manner. Telemedicine, remote work, enhanced educational resources, supports for aging in place, and a wide range of services will become available by supporting this bond. And while not my personal focus, entertainment offerings will be vastly wider.

Readfield’s town website,, and offer many links to facts about the project, its services, and cost. I urge you to study these fully, especially when you hear information that causes you to have questions. I hope you will join me in voting yes on June 14.

Let’s join the growing number of communities taking charge of their futures for the good of all.

Bruce Bourgoine has lived in Readfield for 28 years, served two terms on the Maranacook School Board and two terms on the Readfield Select Board.

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