The $7 million in federal funding provided to Knox County government to help stimulate the economy in the pandemic recovery could not find a better use than in expanding broadband in the Midcoast.

Broadband improvements are a real example of the line from “Field of Dreams.”

“If you build it, they will come.”

Not only will it draw creative businesses and desperately needed workers to the area, but it will help existing businesses that are looking to expand and rebound in the wake of the plague.

The Midcoast Internet Coalition has done a good job of gathering support in a number of local towns in the effort to create a locally owned utility that would serve the public. This work could be a partnership with existing for-profit Internet providers since Midcoast Internet is just looking to create the highway, not say who gets to drive upon it. With multiple providers eventually working on this new broadband network, prices could be lowered for consumers while surfing speeds increase.

Even if residents or local town leaders were not all that enthusiastic about internet improvements, there are other things that could be done with this money as well, and the best to administer that might be the town governments who are actually tasked with providing many of our local government services.

This makes it all the more discouraging that the feds, seeming to have no understanding of government structure in Maine, have sent this money to the purgatory that is Knox County government.

As the town leaders and coalition representatives have tried to discuss this issue with County Commissioners, they were met with the message, “time is not of the essence for us.”

Time is always money, and opportunities like this investment from the federal government are few and far between. The time is now to lead, to act and to do the best we can for our community.

Infrastructure improvements are expensive and depend on big influxes of investment at key times in the history of a nation. There was a time when we built the train tracks, brought in the highway system and hung wires for telephone service and electricity.

Broadband is the next superhighway to future progress and there could be no better investment for this funding. Tell your county commissioner you want action and improved broadband.

July 4, 1776

As these editions of The Courier-Gazette and The Camden Herald reach you, many are preparing to celebrate Independence Day, and perhaps this year the moment will be a bit sweeter as we emerge from a global pandemic.

It is a time to look back.

History.com explains that on this day in history, “In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the Continental Congress adopts the Declaration of Independence, which proclaims the independence of the United States of America from Great Britain and its king. The declaration came 442 days after the first volleys of the American Revolution were fired at Lexington and Concord in Massachusetts and marked an ideological expansion of the conflict…”

We thank our readers and advertisers and wish you all a very Happy Fourth!