Don’t despair, look at what we are learning through COVID, like the importance of broadband

The West Central Tribune today posts a pep talk on getting through the pandemic our best selves…

Like an end-of-summer, little kids’ tee-ball game, this pandemic seems to be dragging on forever. We are so done. But rather than folding up the camp chairs early — and giving up on wearing masks, distancing, and other simple actions we vigilantly and selflessly can take to protect ourselves, our families, and our neighbors — let’s recommit to taking this moment as seriously as its 159,000 U.S. deaths and counting. Let’s recommit to banding together, rather than sowing division, to beat this thing.

And let’s pause to consider all that COVID-19 is teaching us, including the need to rally around and support local private businesses; to attract more economic activity in our community in order to expand, diversify, and strengthen our tax base; to insist that our government bodies operate with urgency; and to expand high-speed internet so it’s accessible to everyone.

And a big part of that is recognizing and fixing the issue of broadband…

There perhaps has been no need more exposed by COVID-19 than the need to broaden broadband. With so many Minnesotans working from home, attending classes and meetings from home, and shopping from home, reliable, high-speed, truly border-to-border broadband is as critical in 2020 as electrification and indoor plumbing were 100 years ago. While great strides have been made by both state and federal governments, politics too often has been put ahead of appropriate funding, and an estimated 14% to 17% of nonmetro Minnesotans are still without internet access or the speeds needed for videoconferencing and other school and business activities.

This entry was posted in MN, Policy and tagged by Ann Treacy. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ann Treacy

Librarian who follows rural broadband in MN and good uses of new technology (blandinonbroadband.org), hosts a radio show on MN music (mostlyminnesota.com), supports people experiencing homelessness in Minnesota (elimstrongtowershelters.org) and helps with social justice issues through Women’s March MN.

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