Bowling Green, KY (May 4, 2021) – Connected Nation has been working diligently for more than two decades in the communities that we serve to ensure connectivity thorough access, adoption, and use of high-speed internet. In the early days, CN staff would educate federal, state, and local leaders about the benefits of broadband. This was, more often than not, a challenging task. There were, however, some forward-thinking leaders who understood that their communities needed broadband in order to improve their economy and keep the next generation in the local community. A local county judge executive once said he didn’t know what the internet was or how to use it, but he knew that his community needed it.
Connected Nation has been an ambassador for the benefits of broadband, and there have been many times that we just could not convince leaders that the investment would be worth it in the long run. After all, there were so many other pressing needs. Fast forward 19 years with the onset of a global pandemic, and it is abundantly clear that broadband connectivity is vital. It is easy to see it now with so many schools closed and so many students marginalized because of slow internet or no access at all. So many employers moved to remote work, where home connectivity was critical for their family’s livelihood. Many physicians were only available via telehealth visits. Even registering for a COVID vaccine is more difficult without high-speed internet. The world was pushed into the age of Zoom meetings, and even families and friends connected via Zoom because it just wasn’t safe to gather as we were accustomed.
We can all clearly see how Life is Better with Broadband®, but let me share with you just a few things that have impacted my life personally this past year.
- Employment – My husband and I both telework, which allows us to save time and money on a commute, clothing budget, and lunches, only to name a few.
- Training – As a Certified Public Accountant, I must participate in continuing professional education in order to keep my license active. I was able to meet the requirements by participating in webinars and even taking some self-service online classes through the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.
- Education – My youngest child graduated from high school in 2020, something he will never forget, and continued pursuing his education, along with his sister, via online college classes.
- Public Safety – Every day, first responders seek to keep people in my community safe, including me and my family. Their job would be much more difficult without access to high-speed internet.
- Banking – During the pandemic, many banks had reduced hours, with only certain locations open with reduced staff. With broadband, I have been able to attend to all of my banking needs online, including depositing checks and paying bills.
- Connect with Family & Friends – Throughout the pandemic, I have been able to connect with family and friends on a regular basis. My parents are high risk if they were to contract COVID-19, so we had family gatherings through online Zoom meetings to keep them safe. I also participated in church activities online, joining Facebook live events, watching sermons on YouTube, participating in Bible studies with online interactive content, and leading fellowship and prayer groups via Zoom.
- Entertainment – When the pandemic initially hit, most of the television shows that we regularly watched were reruns, so our family subscribed to several new streaming services, including Disney Plus and Brit Box.
- Access to Healthcare – When I contracted COVID-19 in May of 2020, it took me a while to recover. The turning point was a telehealth visit with my doctor where he was able to see me via my phone, which was connected through my home wireless network, and he was able to prescribe medicine that would help me recover. He told me he was very encouraged that I was able to talk in full and complete sentences. This was the first telehealth visit I had ever experienced. Prior to the pandemic, telehealth visits were a rarity. Since that first telehealth visit, my family and I have had many other telehealth visits, not only for our protection, but also for our convenience.
Not everything I mentioned about how my family has been impacted by broadband — particularly over this past year — was imperative or life altering, but many were. Some certainly enhanced the comfort, joy, and quality of my life. One thing is very clear to me — my LIFE IS BETTER WITH BROADBAND®!
About the Author: Bernie Bogle is the Chief Financial Officer for Connected Nation. She is a Certified Public Accountant and a Chartered Global Management Accountant. Bernie oversees finances of Connected Nation, ensures compliance on all grants and resource allocations, and is experienced in private, government, and nonprofit settings.
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