OTSEGO COUNTY, N.Y. (WUTR-TV) — For several months, residents across the nation have had to adapt to life by working and learning from home. The COVID-19 pandemic has made it even more difficult for rural communities without dependable internet connections.

“Whether it’s teaching our young people at home. Whether it’s making sure that we have access to broadband for Telemedicine. Whether it’s helping our small businesses convert to a more aggressive online presence. The role of rural broadband has become all the more important. Even before the pandemic we know how critical it was.” – Rep. Antonio Delgado, (D) NY-19

Congressman Delgado and members of the House Task Force on Rural Broadband are pushing for new legislation called the Rural Broadband Acceleration Act. This bill will help bring high-speed internet projects to rural communities as soon as possible. 

“Importantly, once we have this bill become law, certain steps will happen that I think can happen pretty fast. If you have shovel ready projects and you have providers that are willing to build out at speeds that can withstand future technology, that can begin construction within six months, and can provide service within a year, then you can get these funds.” – Rep. Antonio Delgado, (D) NY-19

It’s estimated that about 200 projects would take advantage of the expedited funding this new bill will provide. Delgado says the next step is getting the bill passed through the House and begin work on these projects.

“We know communities are going without and once we have that set of facts, the key is to then move forward and fix it.” – Rep. Antonio Delgado, (D) NY-19