(WSYR-TV) — Now a year into the pandemic and despite so many of us working and learning from home, some families still don’t have sufficient or any access to all broadband services. That includes hundreds of Madison County residents.
“The current public health crisis is making it all too clear that the digital gap in communities across Upstate New York is far too wide,” said Senator Schumer. “Madison County families, businesses, farms, and communities need and deserve top-notch high-speed broadband to help them stay connected during these difficult times and to be competitive as the economy eventually recovers. As incoming Senate Majority Leader, I promise to continue fighting tooth and nail to secure funding that brings 21st-century telecommunications technology to our rural economies across Upstate.”
Renewed efforts from lawmakers are working to close the digital divide. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer met with President Biden’s nominee for U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary, Tom Vilsack, to push for universal access to affordable broadband.
Schumer wants Vilsack to start by approving Madison County’s request for a $15 million grant from the USDA’s Rural Development Broadband ReConnect Program that would provide affordable services to nearly 1,000 households who need that access now more than ever.