The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) announced a grant of $600,000 to the North Central Pennsylvania Regional Planning and Development Commission in Ridgway, PA for the Pennsylvania LDDAP Statewide Broadband Initiative. The project, in partnership with Pennsylvania’s other six local development districts (LDDs) in the Appalachian Region including Southern Alleghenies Planning and Development Commission, will help communities assess strategies and associated costs for deploying broadband in unserved areas. It will also facilitate broadband deployment activities, including the installation of fixed wireless broadband equipment and the partnership with existing internet providers to expand broadband service into target areas. The project will serve 425 businesses, 1,700 households, and 13 communities. Additional funding is being provided by the U.S. Economic Development Administration and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
Brandon Carson, Director of Planning & Community Development at SAP&DC said, ““This award demonstrates ARC’s continued commitment to invest in rural areas that lack adequate broadband access. We’re excited to get started on the project and we’ll continue working with ARC and our other funding partners to address the Digital Divide that exists in our communities.”
The announcement by ARC is one of 51 investments totaling $43.3 million via ARC’s POWER (Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization) Initiative, a congressionally funded opportunity targeting federal resources to help communities and regions that have been affected by job losses in coal mining, coal power plant operations, and coal-related supply chain industries due to the changing economics of America's energy production. More than half of these investments will support recovery-to-work efforts or strengthen the Region’s broadband infrastructure. Pennsylvania received the most awards, with 11 implementation awards, two broadband awards, and two technical assistance awards. The projects range from focus on energy innovation, broadband investments, tourism, substance use disorder, behavioral health, and workforce academies.
For more about this program, please visit http://www.sapdc.org/broadband_task_force
About the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) The Appalachian Regional Commission (www.arc.gov) is an economic development agency of the federal government and 13 state governments focusing on 420 counties across the Appalachian Region. ARC's mission is to innovate, partner, and invest to build community capacity and strengthen economic growth in Appalachia to help the Region achieve socioeconomic parity with the nation.
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.