To the Editor:
This letter is in response to the Islander’s recent editorial “A Question of Fairness.” We disagree with the paper’s position on the issue of the town’s responsibility to provide high-speed internet access to everyone who lives in Mount Desert.
For 36 years, we have lived, worked and raised our family in Down East Maine. We are both health care providers who live on a public road in Pretty Marsh. As you know, Pretty Marsh does not enjoy the high-speed internet access that the rest of Mount Desert takes for granted.
Just last weekend, I streamed a six-hour medical education course from home that is mandatory for my work and available only online. The study time online used up our entire allotment of bandwidth for the month.
So, our satellite internet provider shut us down with a week left until the next billing cycle. This is the same provider response that occurs whenever either of our internet-savvy daughters comes home to visit.
Even when we have service, it is often spotty. This inadequate service truly limits our ability to work from home, not to mention enjoy the internet (streaming movies or shows, shopping, gaming or researching.)
The internet is today’s world highway. We, the citizens of Pretty Marsh, have been left with a poorly maintained, pothole-ridden dirt road. Our desire for functional internet service is no less than that of the offshore islands. Our exclusion from current technology because we are “too rural” is no less felt than would be the cessation of commercial air traffic to Bar Harbor Airport.
We rely on the internet every day. We pay our taxes. We live in and support our communities. We deserve no less than our neighbors throughout Mount Desert.
Michael S. Pancoe
Eleanor D. Pancoe