Rep. Delgado Secures Investment in House-Passed Funding Package to Connect Over 300 Columbia County Homes and Businesses with Broadband

August 2, 2021
Press Release

GHENT, NY – Today, U.S. Representative Antonio Delgado (NY-19) joined local leaders and state representatives to announce broadband funding for the Towns of Ghent, Canaan, New Lebanon, and Austerlitz. Last week, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 4502, a package of seven appropriations bills funding various federal agencies for Fiscal Year 2022. Within the legislation, Rep. Delgado secured $829,594 to connect over 300 homes and businesses with broadband across Columbia County.

Local leaders from the Towns of Ghent, Canaan, New Lebanon, and Austerlitz joined together to request federal broadband funding to address gaps in access. Leaders submitted a request to Rep. Delgado's office, who successfully advocated to secure funding in House-passed appropriations legislation.

CLICK HERE to Watch Rep. Delgado’s Press Conference

“Broadband is not a luxury -- it is a necessity. I am committed to helping secure critical funding to deliver this essential service to folks in the Towns of Ghent, Canaan, New Lebanon, and Austerlitz,” said Rep. Delgado. “Thanks to the tireless work of local leaders and House passage of funding for the project, we are one step closer to securing affordable, reliable broadband to over 300 homes and businesses in Columbia County. I will keep working to ensure every upstate family, small business, farmer, and veteran has broadband.”

“As an elected official in a rural community, I recognize that investment in this infrastructure is essential for small businesses to be profitable, for our children to thrive, and to protect the health and safety of our most vulnerable residents,” said Patti Matheney, Ghent Town Councilperson. “This project will make huge strides towards providing our residents without internet an overall better quality of life, more economic opportunity, access to better healthcare, and enhanced educational opportunities. We are very grateful that Congressman Delgado continues to fulfill his promise of listening to the people of New York's 19th Congressional District and delivering on the things that matter most to us.”

"The town of New Lebanon would like to thank Congressman Delgado and all of his staff for working hard to ensure funding is available to provide access to broadband for all of our residents,” said Supervisor Houghtling, Town of New Lebanon. “The COVID pandemic has shown clearly that broadband is necessary infrastructure. The Town of New Lebanon is working hard to ensure that every single road has fiber access, and this funding through Delgado's office is helping us reach that very important goal! We would also like to thank the Town of Ghent, specifically Councilwoman Matheney and broadband chair Dave Berman, for developing this idea and spearheading the efforts for the four towns to collaborate on this application.”

“The Town of Austerlitz is very proud to be a part of this fine group of people who have worked exceptionally hard to make this almost impossible task attainable. The ability to fill in the gaps of broadband in our community will be life-changing for some,” said Robert Lagonia, Austerlitz Town Supervisor. “I want to personally and on behalf of our community thank Congressman Delgado and all of his staff for giving us the opportunity to be a part of such an important funding opportunity and want to thank Congressman Delgado for having the vision to push forward such an important initiative for all of us involved. I also want to thank everyone that has worked so hard to make this all happen, especially Councilwoman Matheney and Dave Berman. Without both of them, this initiative would not have happened.”

“Though we already knew Columbia County residents were struggling with inadequate broadband service, the COVID pandemic laid bare the huge gaps in broadband access in our region. From remote education to telemedicine to working from home, almost every family learned first-hand the importance of reliable broadband access just to function in the 21st Century,” said Assemblymember Didi Barrett. “The critical funding Congressman Delgado has secured and announced today shows what federal, state and local governments working together can accomplish for the people of our communities.”

“I am proud to join with our community in thanking Congressman Antonio Delgado for securing this essential investment in local broadband connectivity, marking a tremendous step forward for Columbia County,” said Assemblyman Jake Ashby (R, C, I - Castleton). “Today’s announcement also highlights the importance of working together, building coalitions and putting aside petty differences. This bipartisan, multi-municipality and public-private coalition is a testament to the strength and unity still found in our community and all we can accomplish together.”

Rep. Delgado is a leading voice for expanding access to rural broadband. He is a member of the House Task Force on Rural Broadband and voted to pass historic investments in expanding broadband and closing the digital divide. This Congress, Rep. Delgado has introduced legislation to address flawed federal broadband mapping practices and slow broadband speeds.

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