“U.S. Rep. Paul Tonko wrote a scathing letter to the head of the Federal Communications Commisson, claiming that the agency is denying New York state potentially hundreds of millions of dollars in broadband expansion funding amid the coronavirus pandemic that has exposed gaping holes in the ability of people to work and study online in the Capital Region.
Tonko’s May 7 letter to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai included written statements by Capital Region constituents complaining that a lack of high-speed internet service where they live made their work and schooling difficult if not impossible amid the stay-at-home order from Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
The testimonials came from residents from all over the region, including Ballston Spa, Glenville, Rotterdam, Schodack, Delanson, Duanesburg, Rensselaerville and the Hilltowns of Albany County, and the town of Florida in Montgomery County.
“During this pandemic, I have heard from parents, educators, students and workers that are unable to connect online from their homes,” Tonko wrote in his letter to Pai. “I have heard from small businesses unable to operate remotely because they do not have broadband capable of processing payments. I have heard from families worried about isolated seniors and inability to access telemedicine. I implore you not to ignore these people whom we are meant to serve.””
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Rulison, Larry. Beaumont Enterprise 12 May 2020.