Legislation sponsored by Senator Wayne Langerholc, Jr. (R-35) that would establish a grant program to extend deployment of broadband services in underserved areas of the state has received final approval in the Senate and now heads to the governor for his signature.
Langerholc said that access to broadband has become even more crucial during the COVID-19 health crisis, connecting residents with services and information they would otherwise not have access to. It is also important to those who tele-work, senior citizens, fire and emergency workers and students who are taking classes remotely.
“Broadband internet access is proving indispensable now, more than ever, for day-to-day activities,” Langerholc said. “When provided access to affordable high-speed broadband, rural businesses can expand their markets, residents have greater direct access to education and health care and farmers can gain real-time access to important information they need to be successful,”
Senate Bill 835 would provide funding to improve access to high-speed broadband internet in rural areas of PA, which currently do not have access to reliable networks. It would limit funding to entities that have demonstrated the ability to construct and administer internet services and require that they provide 25 percent of the funding for the project.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the growing need for reliable broadband services in the Commonwealth,” Langerholc said. “Broadband provides vital access to the outside world and ensures that state residents have the resources they need to be safe, productive and connected to the resources they need.”
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