Newswise — Millions of Americans are likely to lose internet access due to funding for the Affordable Connectivity Program ending in April. Limited internet access will impact rural communities that depend on telehealth options, according to Ann Fronczek, telehealth expert and associate professor at Binghamton University's Decker College of Nursing. 

"Telehealth and virtual care technologies are becoming an important element in providing health care to clients by nurses and other healthcare professionals, and have become a necessity for rural healthcare providers and organizations. Telehealth provides a unique opportunity for healthcare providers to engage with rural communities in unique ways, but it is not without challenges. Approximately 25% of rural communities throughout the country are without access to broadband internet, a necessity for most telehealth technologies to work despite funding and interventions by the federal government. Cellular service is also a challenge, leaving most mobile devices that could be used to facilitate care as a non-option. Healthcare providers and legislatures need to continue to work on infrastructure support."