Rep. Anthony Brindisi

Congressman testifies before House Energy and Commerce Committee about need for broadband in rural areas

Brindisi: When Upstate New Yorkers call their cable company, they get no help—only excuses

Congressman Anthony Brindisi (NY-22) testified before the House Energy and Commerce Committee about rural broadband and the need for more accountability from big cable companies. Brindisi, a longtime advocate for rural broadband, urged the committee to act.

“When I hear cable executives talk about ‘5G access’ and ‘10-gigabit connections,’ I am left shaking my head,” Brindisi said. “Worst of all, I have heard from countless constituents who have seen their cable bills go up month after month as the service just gets worse and worse. I have heard stories from families who see their connections grind to a halt at home when they try to get online. And when they contact their cable company, they get no help – only excuses.”

Brindisi outlined a plan to improve broadband access across the country and hold cable companies accountable. He urged Congress to gather more accurate data,  maintain the FCC’s Universal Service Fund programs, and hold cable companies accountable by passing his Transparency for Cable Consumers Act.Brindisi’s bill, the first one he introduced in Congress, would hold cable companies accountable.

Under Brindisi’s Transparency for Cable Consumers Act, if a cable or internet company is fined by a state Public Service Commission, it would be required to report:

  • The number of cable and broadband internet customers in each county;
  • The average cable bill and broadband internet bill amounts in each county;
  • A full accounting of all fees charged customers in each county; and
  • The average broadband internet speeds delivered in each county.

Earlier this year, Brindisi held a roundtable in Binghamton to hear from consumers about the lack of broadband in the area.  Additionally, Brindisi secured an amendment to the Save the Internet Act of 2019 that would help expand rural broadband access for Upstate New Yorkers.

Brindisi expressed a willingness to work with both parties to deliver for rural communities.

“I have been fortunate to work with many Members of this Committee – Republicans and Democrats — on these priorities this year,” Brindisi said. “Expanding access to high-speed internet remains a task as large as rural electrification 100 years ago, and I look forward to continuing to work with this Committee to ensure every home in rural America is connected.”

Brindisi’s entire testimony can be found HERE.

By martha

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