Harrisburg, PA − December 2, 2022 − On Thursday November 17, the PA Broadband Development Authority voted unanimously to adopt the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Statewide Broadband Plan.
This broadband plan will focus on four challenge areas and explore opportunities for universal broadband access in Pennsylvania. These four challenge areas include:
- Broadband Service Infrastructure and Availability
- Digital Equity and Affordability
- Device and Technology Access
- Digital Literacy and Technical Support
“Our Commonwealth not only has essential short-term needs for broadband access, but just as pressing long-term needs as well. Serving as Minority Chair on the Communications & Technology Committee, we have identified countless benefits to expanding broadband access. When we provide all Pennsylvanians with strong and reliable internet access, it allows our businesses to work efficiently locally while also being able to compete in the global economy. We provide more options for high quality health care to Pennsylvania residents. We will accelerate our schools, and reinvigorate our students with access to new ideas, text and resources, all while connecting our Commonwealth in more ways than ever before,” said Senator Kane.
“Moving forward, it is imperative that we can accurately locate and determine which areas of our commonwealth need these essential broadband services,” said Senator Kane. In November, the FCC released its draft National Broadband Map, a location-by-location view of high-speed Internet availability in America. From that date until the deadline of January 13, 2023, eligible entities can submit challenges in time for the FCC to include corrections in the final version of the map. That final version of the map will be used to allocate Internet for All funding in the summer of 2023. “This is the ideal time for residents, businesses, schools, and organizations to check the FCC map to ensure their broadband availability is accurately represented. A precise map of broadband connections will allow us to represent and speak for the areas who need broadband throughout our commonwealth, and make sure it is in the funding plan,” shared Senator Kane.
At a special meeting held by the PA Department of Community & Economic Development Pennsylvania Broadband Development Authority, the board voted to approve the scope of work and budget proposed by Penn State Extension. This plan is designed to help advance the planning and implementation efforts done by the Broadband Authority. “To have Penn State and the Broadband Authority working together on this Statewide Broadband plan, shows that it’s all hands-on-deck to get reliable connectivity throughout our Commonwealth. It is up to us to all we can to keep this plan moving and strengthen the signal in Pennsylvania.”
Interested Pennsylvanians can register for two webinars the Authority will co-host with Penn State Extension to further discuss the map and challenge process:
- Monday, December 5 at 10:00 AM, Tuesday, December 6 at 1:00 PM