Culpeper Times: ‘It was surreal.’ Say speaks to Culpeper County broadband issues, introduces Biden

CULPEPER TIMES, MARIA BASILEO

Former president/CEO of the Culpeper Chamber of Commerce Jeff Say visited the White House Monday to speak about Culpeper County’s challenges with receiving adequate broadband services.

“The whole event, the whole experience was really surreal,” Jeff Say said. “Getting to meet the president and the vice president, it was a huge honor.”

When Say was at his post at the Chamber last year, the Biden Administration had visited Culpeper and heard stories from so many about the lack of this basic utility, Say said. It was this past Tuesday, though, that U.S. Rep. Abigail Spanberger’s office contacted the Chamber’s new president/CEO, Amy Frazier, looking to connect Say with the Administration about the possibility of giving some remarks at the White House about Culpeper’s long-standing broadband issues.

“The next thing I knew we were locked in,” he said. “It kind of steam rolled from there.”

Say formerly worked at the Chamber for two years before transiting into the Manager of Community Engagement at UVA Health this past February.

Despite being on vacation with his family in Virginia Beach, Say made the drive up to Washington D.C. to make his 11:30 a.m. remarks.

Say recalled during his remarks house hunting when his family stumbled upon a perfect home.

“But the day we moved in, our ordeal began,” he said.

He described reaching out to services providers who explained it would cost “tens of thousands of dollars” to run a broadband line to their new home as the service stopped a half mile down the road.

For now, the Say family settles for a hot spot that’s “spotty” at best, he continued.

When they need more reliable connection, they must drive to the Culpeper County Library or each other’s work offices.

“Every aspect of our life has seemingly been touched by internet access: education, health, commerce and entertainment.”

Culpeper has long had issues with receiving and maintaining broadband services with 4,300 households still going without, Say said in his remarks.

Say noted Culpeper County has been “working really hard on the broadband initiative,” and hopes to see it materialize soon.

“It was an incredible experience,” he said. “This was probably a once in a lifetime opportunity.”

“It was really exciting for me to be able to represent Culpeper and advocate fiercely for broadband for all because it really is a utility not a luxury.”

Recent Posts


Screenshot

May 24, 2024
Veterans' Issues

Spanberger Statement Ahead of Memorial Day 2024

Congresswoman: “We Remember the Americans Who Set Forth in Service, Those Who Felt a Calling to Defend Our Core American Values, and Those Who Laid Down Their Lives to Protect Our Freedoms” WOODBRIDGE, Va. — U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger today released the following statement ahead of Memorial Day 2024. “Memorial Day reminds us of the often-steep […]



May 23, 2024
Agriculture

Spanberger Statement on Status of Farm Bill Negotiations

The Congresswoman is the Only Virginian on the U.S. House Agriculture Committee WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger today released the following statement on the status of Farm Bill negotiations ahead of a U.S. House Agriculture Committee markup on the House GOP’s initial Farm Bill. “As the only Virginian on the House Agriculture Committee, I […]



May 22, 2024
Local Issues

On Floor of U.S. House, Spanberger Shares “Stories of Service” from Virginians, Honors Servicemembers, Veterans, & Military Families During Military Appreciation Month

For the Second Year in a Row, the Congresswoman Shared “Stories of Service” She Received from Virginians to Honor the Personal Sacrifices of Those Who Put on the Uniform WASHINGTON, D.C. — On the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger today honored Veterans, servicemembers, and Virginia military families. To recognize […]