Aug. 10, 2023

HARRISBURG – A multi-year plan key to securing more than $1 billion in federal resources to expand broadband access to hundreds of thousands of locations across the Commonwealth was unanimously approved by the Pennsylvania Broadband Development Authority today.

“Broadband and high-speed internet access is a quality-of-life issue for millions of Pennsylvanians,” said Rep. Carl Walker Metzgar (R-Somerset), House Republican designee to the authority. “Expansion is critical for business, education and health care. It is the modern-day equivalent of rural electrification, which is why approval of this plan today is a huge step forward to helping millions of Pennsylvanians.”

The five-year plan, known as “Connecting the Commonwealth,” will help to bring affordable broadband access to unserved and underserved areas of Pennsylvania. To do so, the plan lays out a multi-faceted approach, including expanding infrastructure across the Commonwealth, partnering with community-based institutions to provide digital literacy training, and strengthening existing affordability programs.

Approval of the plan today works to secure $1.16 billion in federal resources designated to assist in broadband expansion programs throughout the Commonwealth. 

“This plan is crucial if we expect our children to be prepared to excel in life, to attract career-sustaining investment from business leaders, or provide life-saving care in rural hospitals,” said Metzgar. “I am proud to support the authority in approving this plan and look forward to the impact this will have on our community.”

The plan will focus on currently unserved locations, a map of which is available here. These nearly 300,000 locations are homes, businesses or any address that currently cannot access modern high-speed broadband services. 

The Pennsylvania Broadband Development Authority was established by the Legislature through Act 96 of 2021. Its mission is to coordinate and facilitate funding for broadband buildout across the Commonwealth. 

Representative Carl Walker Metzgar
69th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact:  Nate Temple