Set the politics aside for a moment and think of the average American. Companies need to compete for consumer business, which in turn means lower prices. This is mainly why I write for support of AcenTek receiving the ROBIN Grant Program in Mesick, Michigan.
“More than 65 million Americans live in a place with only one high-speed Internet provider. Research shows that when you live somewhere with limited Internet options, you pay five times more on average than families that have more choices. That’s what the lack of competition does: It raises the prices you pay.”
—Remarks By President Biden on the Affordable Connectivity Program May 9, 2022
In addition to my argument for free enterprise, high-speed internet has become a necessity in modern society and access to it has a significant impact on the quality of life in rural areas. My husband and I decided after 7 years living in Chicago to return back to my home state and enjoy life’s simple pleasures like nature and clean air. With remote work now the new norm, we only needed to make sure the internet connection was fast enough to have a seamless connection that wouldn’t buffer during video calls with our boss, or attending all-employee meetings. It’s crucial now more than ever to not have a single hiccup in a remote environment.
But in addition to having affordable connection, here are several reasons why it’s crucial to our future as a community (Or any rural area!):
Improved access to education: With high-speed internet, students in rural areas can participate in online learning programs and have access to a wider range of educational resources, allowing them to receive a better education and have greater opportunities for their future.
Increased job opportunities: High-speed internet allows people in rural areas to work remotely and access job opportunities that would have otherwise been unavailable to them. This can lead to higher employment rates and a stronger local economy.
Improved healthcare: High-speed internet enables remote consultations with healthcare professionals (telemedicine) and access to online medical resources, making healthcare more accessible to people in rural areas (especially the elderly) and improving the overall health of the community.
Bridging the digital divide: The lack of access to high-speed internet in rural areas can perpetuate a digital divide, hindering economic growth and limiting opportunities for the residents. High-speed internet can help bridge this divide and ensure that everyone has equal access to the benefits of the digital world.
In conclusion, high-speed affordable internet has been the lifeline of why my husband and I want to continue to live in this area with the hopes of fiberoptic connection.