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The lack of access to reliable, high-speed Internet service in Maine remains a challenge for farmers across the state, preventing them from growing and diversifying their businesses. Lack of access can diminish sales, cause delays in obtaining needed supplies, produce difficulties with billing and crop management, prevent access to needed research, and result in lost market opportunities. The coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the critical importance of high-speed internet for Maine farm businesses. Many farmers across the state have needed to increase their online business activities and/or pivot to using more online platforms to sell their products. The need for high-speed internet service in Maine will only increase in the future, not only to support farm businesses, but to also provide farm families with access to important educational and communication resources.
There is an opportunity to take action NOW to strengthen the economy, create jobs and build access to high-speed internet in rural Maine.
Question 1 on the July 14th statewide ballot gives voters a chance to support a $15 million bond to invest in high-speed internet infrastructure that will be matched by $30 million in private, federal and local support – tripling the impact of this smart investment.
The question, as it will appear on the ballot, is: “Do you favor a $15,000,000 bond issue to invest in high-speed internet infrastructure for unserved and underserved areas, to be used to match up to $30,000,000 in federal, private, local or other funds?” This is an important investment that will greatly benefit farm businesses and families across the state. It will help to advance a strong plan to build a better internet for rural Maine that will close the gap with other parts of the state. For more information about the Yes on 1 campaign, check out https://www.betterinternetformaine.org.
Farmers, YOU can help bring high-speed internet to rural Maine by:
• Voting YES on 1 on the July 14th ballot
• Spreading the word about Yes on 1 to other farmers and farm-related businesses
• Endorsing the Yes on 1 campaign HERE
• Making a short video on your phone for the Yes on 1 campaign to spread the word on social media about the importance of high-speed internet to you (instructions HERE).
You can also submit an endorsement, obtain more information, or support the campaign by contacting Nick Battista at firstname.lastname@example.org or (207) 594-9209.