Chairman Delgado Brings NY-19 Voice Directly to DC to Highlight the Need for Rural Broadband

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From the office of Representative Antonio Delgado:

WASHINGTON – Today, Chairman of the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Commodity Exchanges, Energy, and Credit (CEEC) Antonio Delgado (NY-19) introduced Tim Johnson, CEO, Otsego Rural Electric Cooperative and OEConnect, to the House Committee on Agriculture. Mr. Johnson testified during the committee’s hearing titled “Rural Broadband – Examining Internet Connectivity Needs and Opportunities in Rural America.” Chairman Delgado discussed broadband needs across upstate New York, federal funding roadblocks in rural areas, and broadband mapping and data collection with Mr. Johnson.

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. Earlier this month, he introduced the bipartisan Community Broadband Mapping Act to address flawed federal broadband mapping practices and empower local communities.

Chairman Delgado introductory remarks:

“Thank you, Chairman Scott and Ranking Member Thompson. It is my privilege and honor to introduce our next witness and my constituent, Tim Johnson. Mr. Johnson is the CEO of OE Connect, LLC and Otsego Electric Cooperative.

Tim and I have had many conversations, both in-person and virtually, about the critically important work Otsego Electric Cooperative does. He is a true leader in our community and has extensive knowledge about rural broadband access and affordability.

Otsego Electric Cooperative provides broadband service to thousands of households in the most rural and underserved parts of Upstate New York.

The cooperative is located within the community it serves and understands that broadband access empowers our rural communities.

The cooperative also understands that rural broadband access and affordability go hand in hand, and has made these services available at a fair price.

The COVID-19 pandemic has made even more clear that having reliable internet connection is a necessity, and Otsego Electric Cooperative has worked tirelessly to expand broadband access, making sure health care workers had service, helping students attend remote learning, and ensuring small businesses can enter the e-commerce marketplace.

I am proud that New York’s 19th Congressional District is represented here today by Mr. Johnson. Mr. Johnson, I look forward to hearing your testimony and learning more about how Congress can best support you in making sure that rural areas have equitable access to broadband.”

Click here to watch Chairman Delgado’sintroduction of Mr. JohnsonClick here to watch Mr. Johnson’s opening remarksClick here for a link to Mr. Johnson’s testimonyClick here to watch Chairman DelgadoQuestion Mr. Johnson

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