The COVID-19 virus has brought a multitude of challenges to our community. This virus has not only devastated many families in our community, but has changed the way we socialize, how we work, and most importantly how our children are educated. These changes come in the way of using the internet for distancing ourselves from what was the normal day to day life. I am sure we all hope things go back to “normal” soon, but in reality, we may never go back to pre-COVID-19 way of living. I fear we as a county are being left behind because of our poor access to internet providers.
I know there are areas of the county that have good internet service, but there are many areas that have horrible service. I personally live 3 miles from the Brownsville city limits and use Windstream for internet. The max speed I get with Windstream is 1MBPS and they tell me that is the max for my location. Again, I live 3 miles from the Brownsville city limits. I have tried satellite providers and they barely work at all. I have attempted to get Bluegrass internet, but there is too much demand on my tower, so they will not provide to my location. I have no other options. We can barely navigate webpages, and if multiple users are on our WIFI, nothing is going to work.
Election after election I hear the candidates for the Judge Executive office say the way to bring money into the county is for people to move into the county and attract business. Providing quality internet options seems like step one to that plan, but nothing ever improves. The lack of quality internet options is a deterrent to how our elected officials say we grow our tax income. Why would businesses move into the county when we have such a poor internet infrastructure? I recently sold a home and all prospective buyers asked about the internet speed. I am certain we lost 2 buyers because of poor internet speed.
Our Judge Executive and Magistrates must prioritize high-speed internet service to all areas of our county. If we are going to be able to socialize, work, and educate from home, we must have the infrastructure in place. If we are going to attract business and potential home buyers, we must have the infrastructure in place. High-speed internet is no longer a luxury, it is now more than ever a necessity. I call on our elected officials and county executives to act and prioritize bringing high-speed internet to all areas of our county!
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