In this seventh episode, Chris Mitchell of the Institute for Local Self Reliance speaks with David Kirby, President and founder of the North Carolina Telehealth Network Association, to discuss why broadband matters for rural healthcare. With the “sheltering-in” requirements of COVID-19 in full swing, perhaps this is a rhetorical question no matter where you live, but David Kirby widens the lens and explains how telehealth began more than 15 years ago, if not when the first telephone was installed. By describing the healthcare services that would terminate if a fiber optic  were cut, he shows us  the diverse and numerous services that are available to some, and could be available to everyone if high capacity and reliable broadband infrastructure connected to every home. He talks about various barriers that are coming down –from insurance coverage, to legal liabilities, to acceptance by the caregivers, but how the internet capacity barriers in rural areas remain stark, a troubling characteristics where hospitals were already closing, and geographical distance is a barrier to healthcare.  Access to broadband “is as important as power, water and any other utility at the typical clinic site today,” he stated. Perhaps a silver lining of this COVID-19 pandemic is the stark awareness it has created of the significant societal benefits modern broadband at home could play in maintaining a healthy society in the future. As David simply put it: “Being healthy is a (societal) good in itself – it is quality of life.”