The Southern Alleghenies Planning and Development Commission (SAP&DC) is pleased to announce the formation of a new non-profit organization with the sole purpose of supporting the development of broadband infrastructure to ensure residents and businesses have access to reliable, high-speed internet service. Alleghenies Broadband, Inc. (ABI) will work to enhance infrastructure through public-private partnerships to deliver high-speed internet to rural areas that currently lack connectivity.
To support the efforts of the new organization, a two-year planning process that culminated in August of 2020 provides a roadmap for officials to begin deploying services in the six-county region of Bedford, Blair, Cambria, Fulton, Huntingdon, and Somerset Counties. Alleghenies Broadband, Inc. will work to implement projects identified in the plan which will need to be completed in a multitude of phases as funding resources are available. As a first step, the group partnered to submit a federal grant application requesting the funds needed for a pilot project to begin offering services in areas that the plan identified as lacking the FCC definition of broadband (25 Mbps download, 3 Mbps upload). Currently, an effort is underway to purchase and install fixed wireless equipment at three existing tower sites and will provide quality internet service to more than 300 homes and businesses in the region.
Brandon Carson, Director of Planning and Community Development at SAP&DC, has been working on the Commission’s broadband efforts for the last two years, “With the planning and preliminary design analysis now complete, we’re in a great position to move forward and begin facilitating access to reliable, high-speed connectivity for residents and businesses in our region. SAP&DC and ABI will work tirelessly to ensure that individuals in rural communities have the same access afforded to those living in urban areas.”
Carson emphasized that now more than ever schools, businesses, first responders, health care professionals, and residents rely on having a quality broadband connection as part of their daily lives. Students are learning virtually, workers are telecommuting when feasible and individuals are accessing medical care remotely; none of this is possible without adequate broadband infrastructure.
About Southern Alleghenies Planning and Development Commission (SAP&DC)
The Southern Alleghenies Planning and Development Commission (SAP&DC) [www.sapdc.org] is a non-profit regional economic and community development organization serving Bedford, Blair, Cambria, Fulton, Huntingdon and Somerset Counties. SAP&DC’s mission is to address human resource development, encourage the creation and retention of jobs, and to improve the quality of life for residents of the Alleghenies.
About Alleghenies Broadband, Inc. (ABI)
Alleghenies Broadband, Inc. is a non-profit organization with a mission of ensuring that residents and businesses in rural areas have access to reliable broadband service.