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Orleans will host Congressional hearing on rural broadband

Posted 17 March 2014 at 12:00 am

Press release, Congressman Chris Collins

Congressman Chris Collins (R-Clarence) will chair a House Small Business Subcommittee Field Hearing in Orleans County this Thursday. The hearing will examine how the lack of access to broadband Internet service in rural communities impacts the operations of local small businesses and farms.

The lack of access to broadband is a significant issue in several areas of Collins’ Congressional District, including northern Niagara, Orleans, Genesee and Wyoming counties.

“There are many rural parts of our nation, including several communities in my Congressional District, that do not have access to broadband Internet,” Collins said. “This lack of access is a significant roadblock for small business owners and farmers working hard every day to serve their community and grow their businesses.”

The hearing will begin at 10 a.m. in the legislative chambers of the County Clerks’ Building at 3 South Main St.

The hearing will include testimony from Kendra Lamb, an owner of Lamb Farms in Oakfield, a representative from Time Warner, a representative from Frontier Communications, and a representative from NTCA – The Rural Broadband Association.

There will also be a stakeholders’ roundtable following the hearing with county officials from Orleans, Genesee, Wyoming and Niagara counties. David Callard and Lynne Johnson, county legislators from Orleans County, are scheduled to be at the roundtable.

“I look forward to talking with key stakeholders about the regulatory factors that lead to the expansion of broadband into rural areas and hear from those affected about how improved access could change their business for the better,” Collins said.