Delgado Joins Colleagues in Launching New Task Force on Rural Broadband

May 13, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Representative Antonio Delgado (NY-19) joined in launching a new House Task Force on Rural Broadband chaired by House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn. The Task Force seeks to provide coordination and leadership to end the rural-digital divide and will work to advance solutions to ensure all Americans have access to high-speed internet by 2025.

“I am honored to join the House Task Force on Rural Broadband to address this crisis in rural communities,” said Delgado. “Access to broadband internet is critical to the success of small businesses and farms in Upstate New York, and I am deeply committed to partnering with my colleagues and the Administration to be a part of the solution to ensure folks in NY19 are not left behind because of where they live and operate.”

“I’m pleased that Congressman Delgado is joining the House Task Force on Rural Broadband to ensure that all Americans can compete in the 21st century economy,” said House Majority Whip James Clyburn. “High-speed internet is an essential service in America today—yet too many of our fellow citizens in rural communities are being left behind. It’s unacceptable in 2019 that many rural communities have limited to no access to the internet. If rural America is to thrive in the 21st century information economy, it must have affordable and accessible internet service to every community.”

Representing the eighth most rural district in the country, Rep. Delgado has made rural broadband a focus of his work on the House Small Business Committee, and voted last week for legislation to ensure better coordination and tracking of federal broadband dollars to ensure it’s being spent in areas that need it most. In addition, during House consideration of legislation to restore net neutrality protections, Rep. Delgado successfully amended the bill in support of standalone broadband service meant to crack down on the practice of bundling broadband services with other services consumers may not need or want.

More than $60 billion in public resources have been invested to bring broadband to rural America; however, the FCC reports 25 million rural Americans are still without high-speed internet access. High-speed internet is a modern-day necessity and every Americans should have the ability to access affordable high-speed internet.

The Task Force will consult with key stakeholders, including rural advocates, market participants, local governments, and Administration officials to develop strategies to eliminate digital deserts and ensure rural Americans can thrive in the 21st century information economy. Top priorities include:

  • Highlighting success stories and innovative approaches;
  • Ensuring that federal funding for rural broadband is spent effectively;
  • Identifying necessary steps to position the United States to lead the world in universal broadband deployment; and
  • Passing legislation to advance a transformative agenda on rural broadband that accomplishes the goal of affordable universal access by 2025.