DiSanto: Senate Approves Bill to Expand Broadband Access

Harrisburg — The State Senate approved legislation Tuesday that would establish a grant program to extend deployment of broadband services to underserved areas of the state, according to State Senator John DiSanto (Dauphin/Perry).

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 20 percent of the funding for the project.

“High-speed internet is no longer a luxury, it’s how we connect to critical services and information,” he said. “There are still areas in the 15th Senatorial District that are underserved when it comes to broadband, and this legislation will provide targeted funding, with fiscal safeguards, to bring this important service to more homes and businesses. It builds upon other financial resources I’ve supported for broadband expansion, including allowing counties to appropriate some of their Federal CARES Act allocations for broadband projects.”           

Access to broadband has become even more crucial because of COVID-19, connecting residents with services and information they might otherwise not have access to.  It is also critically important to those who tele-work, fire and emergency workers, and students who are taking classes remotely.

The bill was sent to the House of Representatives for consideration.

 

CONTACT: Chuck Erdman cerdman@pasen.gov