NEWTON, NJ (Sussex County) – U.S. Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5) Thursday announced new steps to help make sure federal COVID-19 relief investment for broadband support is delivered to both Sussex and Warren Counties, as well as new steps to connect local officials and internet providers to the right broadband resources to help improve connectivity for local residents and businesses.
Gottheimer made the following announcements:
- Calling to Expand Eligibility for Federal Investment for Sussex & Warren: Gottheimer is calling on the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) — a federal agency in the U.S. Department of Commerce which is overseeing some of the COVID-19 relief package’s broadband grants — to make areas like Sussex and Warren Counties eligible for federal investment as NTIA develops their guidelines.
- Collaboration Between Federal Broadband Leaders and Local Northwestern NJ Officials & Internet Providers: Gottheimer has requested that the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) meet with local officials and stakeholders in Sussex and Warren Counties for feedback as NTIA forms guidelines to distribute the resources for broadband that Congress passed in the December 2020 COVID-19 relief package.
- Congressional Rural Broadband Caucus Membership: Gottheimer announced that he is becoming a member of the bipartisan Rural Broadband Caucus, to work with Democrats and Republicans in the House to advance broadband solutions that benefit rural areas like Sussex and Warren Counties.
“With the COVID-19 pandemic forcing more of our learning, working, and daily business online, we need to continue working to expand access to high-speed broadband, get costs down, and make it easier to install the infrastructure necessary to connect our homes, schools, and businesses to the broadband we all need,” Gottheimer said. “Too often, the guidelines for federal grant programs that are investing in broadband infrastructure are too restrictive, causing many communities that are in dire need of connectivity upgrades to go without the dollars they need to implement those upgrades. We need to make sure these guidelines reflect the needs of communities across Sussex and Warren Counties, so that everyone has a shot.
Gottheimer was joined at Thursday’s announcement at Planet Networks in downtown Newton by Planet Networks CEO Robert Boyle, NJ Assemblyman Hal Wirths (LD-24), Newton Mayor Matthew Dickson, and Knowlton Mayor Adele Starrs.