In­clude us in Com­cast

Maryland Independent - - Community Forum -

The pro­posed Com­cast con­tract renewal and the lack of sup­port to ru­ral ar­eas was fea­tured in the Oct. 7 issue of the Maryland In­de­pen­dent.

The Hat­ton Creek Road area of Charles County does not ap­pear to qual­ify for Com­cast ser­vice un­der the cur­rent con­tract due to the con­tract’s pop­u­la­tion den­sity clause. There are over 20 homes on our street with lots rang­ing from 1 acre to 35 acres. As we also have very lim­ited or no cell ser­vice, the only ac­cess to ca­ble and in­ter­net is through satel­lite ser­vice. This can be very ex­pen­sive and is un­re­li­able. We are a small community and of­ten get over­looked in county de­ci­sions. We strongly urge you, our rep­re­sen­ta­tives, to in­clude us in the fu­ture con­tract.

Nearly all county schools now use Ed­line and Tur­nitin to com­mu­ni­cate with both par­ents and stu­dents their ex­pec­ta­tions, grades and home­work as­sign­ments. Stu­dents are re­quired to use the in­ter­net to re­search, learn and even sub­mit their as­sign­ments. Lo­cal li­brary branches could pro­vide the in­ter­net ser­vices re­quired, but our community is more than 20 miles from the clos­est li­brary. Not hav­ing ac­cess to the in­ter­net nor a lo­cal li­brary branch, when the school sys­tem has a doc­u­mented need for it, puts our chil­dren at an un­fair dis­ad­van­tage.

Telecom­mut­ing and run­ning small busi­nesses out of our homes is im­pos­si­ble due to lack of high speed in­ter­net. Dur­ing in­clement weather, pub­lic safety in­for­ma­tion is in­ter­mit­tent at best due to satel­lite in­ter­rup­tions. Prop­erty val­ues are re­duced be­cause of the lack of in­ter­net ac­cess — one commu- nity mem­ber cur­rently try­ing to sell their home re­ported when a buyer came to look at their home they were very in­ter­ested un­til they found out about the lack of in­ter­net. The county will di­rectly ben­e­fit with in­creased prop­erty val­ues and in­creased tax ba­sis.

Ge­o­graph­i­cally, we are about 35 miles from the most pow­er­ful city in the world — and we still do not have ad­e­quate ca­ble, in­ter­net and cell phone ser­vice. It is time we came into the 21st cen­tury. All tax­pay­ers in Charles County should have ac­cess to these ser­vices. The rene­go­ti­a­tion of the Com­cast con­tract is a prime op­por­tu­nity for you, our rep­re­sen­ta­tives, to meet a cru­cial need of our and other ru­ral com­mu­ni­ties at no cost to the county. Our community sin­cerely ap­pre­ci­ates your ef­forts.

Bri­anna Bowl­ing and Hat­ton Creek Road res­i­dents, New­burg

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