AARP Eye Center
UPDATE: On behalf of our 230,000 Maine members, we are disappointed the legislature failed to approve expanding Broadband access during the special session on August 26th. Mainers deserve high-speed Internet no matter where they live. This is a missed opportunity for our state.
Three Reasons Why Broadband Is Important for Maine.
1. Being connected in a modern economy is essential: High speed, reliable internet is essential for any community, business, school, hospital, clinic, entrepreneur, farmer, mill, factory, co-working space, restaurant, caregiver or home office to function in our modern economy.
2. Broadband connections will only make aging in place easier for Maine: We hear it every day: 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, on-line learning and other internet-based applications that provide social interaction and help with health challenges. Family caregivers benefit from broadband access, as well as grandchildren who need it for school who are staying with or visiting their grandparents.
3. Being connected means better access to life-changing information. A good broadband connection can decrease loneliness and depression, increase opportunities for furthering education, and allow services such as free captioned telephone services for the hard of hearing and some life alert programs.
Now is the time to call your Legislators
On Monday, August 19th, Governor Mills called the legislature back to the State House for a special legislative session to consider and vote on a revised bond package. The special session is scheduled for Monday, August 26 at 10 a.m.
Included in the bond proposal is $15 million for broadband (high speed internet) infrastructure. According to the Governor’s press release, this bond will draw at least a 3/1 match in federal and private funding. Maine shouldn’t leave that money on the table.
We’re asking AARP Maine members to reach out to your local Representatives and State Senators TODAY urging them to vote YES on the economic development bond that includes broadband.
How do I contact my legislators? Click here to enter your address and find your legislators and their contact info.
What should I say to my legislators? Pick two to three bullet points below and remind your state legislators not to be the ones who delayed Maine from becoming part of the competitive broadband economy:
· Maine lags behind national broadband development and faces challenges with rural communities being disconnected from a modern economy.
· High speed, reliable internet is essential for any community.
· Maine is the oldest state with a median age of 43.1. Affordable and reliable internet service helps older adult’s age-in-place productively and safely.
· The expansion of high-speed internet can also make a huge difference for people to work remotely. This could influence people’s decisions to move here and stay here.
· Included in the revised bond proposal is $15 million for broadband (high speed internet) infrastructure. This bond will draw at least a 3/1 match in federal and private funding. Don’t leave that money on the table!
· A good broadband connection can decrease loneliness and depression, increase opportunities for furthering education, and allow services such as free captioned telephone services for the hard of hearing and some life alert programs.
· Many of our communities are in the most rural parts of Maine. It is past time for Maine to invest in this vital component of infrastructure.
On behalf of AARP Maine’s 230,000 members, ask your legislator to vote in support of an economic development bond that INCLUDES broadband.
What is AARP Maine doing to engage Maine rural communities on this issue?
AARP Maine is proud to work with 65 municipalities in Maine who have joined our Age-Friendly Network. Many of these communities are in the most rural parts of Maine. Connectivity is one issue that continually comes up in discussions with municipal leaders and Maine residents in these communities. By allocating funds to expand broadband access, Maine has the opportunity to increase internet access in homes and small businesses across Maine. It is past time for Maine to invest in this important component of infrastructure.
Will you call your state legislators and ask them to support the bond package?
Please ask YOUR legislators to vote in support of an economic development bond that INCLUDES broadband. Click here to find your state legislators, and please call them today!