– As the House Republican designee for the Pennsylvania Broadband Development Authority, Rep. Carl Walker Metzgar (R-Somerset) announced that the authority will begin the process of disbursing $200 million of federal funding in the Pennsylvania Broadband Infrastructure Program. The program aims to boost broadband deployment to aid unserved and underserved communities in the Commonwealth.
“As broadband is a crucial issue for Pennsylvania, I am pleased to see us begin the process of ensuring this vital service reaches every home and business in the Commonwealth,” said Metzgar. “As Pennsylvanians deal with day-to-day challenges, having adequate broadband service is a must. I look forward to working with my colleagues on how we can best use our resources.”
Businesses, not-for-profit entities, municipalities and economic development organizations may apply. Projects that are eligible for grant funding are ones that would guarantee that residents would reliably have one of the following:
Meets or exceeds 100 megabits per second (Mbps) for both download and upload speeds.
At least 100 Mbps download speeds and between 20 Mbps and 100 Mbps upload speeds.
As a condition of grant funding, grant recipients must provide affordable services that include at least one low-cost option offered at speeds that are sufficient for a household with multiple users to simultaneously telework and engage in remote learning. In order to ensure they uphold their end of the bargain, Metzgar said grantees will be required to report pricing data.
Grants are a minimum of $500,000 and a maximum of $10 million. Applications will be accepted starting Wednesday, May 10, through Monday, July 10. Criteria that the authority will use include:
Size and scope of the unserved or underserved area.
Ability to deliver service within the above thresholds.
Whether the project proposes investments in fiber-optic infrastructure.
Whether the project includes a sound sustainability strategy that will be able to maintain, repair and upgrade networks.
Metzgar said in order to apply, the applicant must submit the electronic online Department of Community and Economic Development Single Application for Assistance located at esa.dced.state.pa.us
Once submitted, please email one copy of the application and required supplemental information to PBDA_CapitalProjectsFund@pa.gov
The funding, which comes from the American Rescue Plan Act, may only be used to cover costs associated with the installation or acquisition of middle-mile and last-mile high-speed broadband infrastructure. This includes data-gathering; feasibility studies; community engagement and public feedback processes; repair, rehabilitation, construction, improvement, and acquisition of real property, equipment and facilities; and administrative costs.
The Pennsylvania Broadband Development Authority was created under Act 96 of 202
1 to serve as a single point of contact for parties interested in building out the state’s broadband infrastructure and services.
Representative Carl Walker Metzgar
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Nate Temple