Telehealth has become a key method for patients to receive health care in their homes without spending time and money on traveling to the nearest healthcare facility. However, access to this technology is one of the biggest challenges providers face in offering telehealth services in rural or small Idaho towns. These areas lack internet access altogether or have low-bandwidth internet that can’t support video conferencing or downloading documents that are needed to successfully use telehealth resources.
To help rural areas receive needed broadband infrastructure not only for telehealth services but overall public well-being, Imagine Idaho, a coalition of Idaho community leaders and economic development groups are working to ensure state policy that favors communities in need of broadband services. Also, to secure significant federal funding to deploy broadband infrastructure in a pro-competitive way. I hope everyone will reach out to Idaho's state legislature members and urge them to bring more broadband to our state. As we have seen throughout the pandemic, there is now widespread agreement among patients and providers that telehealth offers patients safe and effective options in health care, and it’s time to bring reliable broadband to every Idahoan.