I am writing to express my concern regarding the lack of internet connectivity in Page County. Quality internet access is increasingly separating the haves from the have nots.
Last Spring, access to shopping, healthcare, work and education depended upon reliable high speed access to the internet. While other districts in the Valley continued the year remotely, Page County students were forced to end the school year in March, leaving them behind.
It’s not only education that is impacted. Reliable, high speed access to the internet for rural communities is also crucial for economic growth and productivity. Job applications and postings, retail sales and countless other transactions for businesses are increasingly on line. Through the use of telemedicine, Page County residents can have access to high quality specialist care without long travel times.
Like electricity and telephone expansion into rural areas almost a century ago, broadband access needs to be considered an essential utility rather than an amenity.
Joe Biden has proposed a large federal investment, $20 billion, for bringing broadband to rural areas. The state of Virginia maintains a grant program for the same purpose.
Let’s bring some of those investment dollars to Page County.
Doreen Benson ~ Page County, Va.
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