Senate Approves Bill to Provide Expanded Broadband Access in PA

HARRISBURG – The State Senate on Tuesday approved legislation that would establish a grant program to extend deployment of broadband services in underserved areas of the state, according Senator Mario Scavello (R-40).

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.

“Since my fist day as a State Representative and then a State Senator, I have made infrastructure investment, including broadband and communication networks, a top priority”, said Senator Scavello. “This technology is very important for our region, and I’m confident these grants will continue to help us improve broadband infrastructure and reduce the number of cellular ‘dead zones’ in Monroe and Northampton counties.”  

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. 

CONTACT: Christine Zubeck czubeck@pasen.gov (717) 787-6123