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Digital Equity Act: A Federal Program Promoting Digital Inclusion And Equity For All Individuals

The State’s Digital Equity Plan is now ready for review and public comment.


Too many communities lack access to high-speed internet. Many more cannot afford it or do not know how to use it. This creates a stark divide between those who have internet access and those who do not. To create an equitable economy, everyone needs access to reliable and affordable high-speed internet. As part of the Digital Equity (DE) Act, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) received $2.75 billion to establish three grant programs that promote digital inclusion and equity to ensure that all individuals and communities have the skills, technology, and capacity needed to reap the full benefits of our digital economy.

The goal of these programs is to promote the meaningful adoption and use of broadband services across the targeted populations including low-income households, aging populations, incarcerated individuals, veterans, individuals with disabilities, individuals with a language barrier, racial and ethnic minorities, and rural inhabitants.

  • State Digital Equity Planning Grant Program: $60 million formula grant program for states and territories to develop digital equity plans.

  • State Digital Equity Capacity Grant Program: $1.44 billion formula grant program for states and territories distributed via annual grant programs over 5 years to implement digital equity projects and support the implementation of digital equity plans.

  • Digital Equity Competitive Grant Program: $1.25 billion discretionary grant program distributed vial annual grant programs over 5 years to implement digital equity projects.

Learn more about the programs on the Digital Equity Act Programs Fact Sheet.


Digital Equity Plan Public Comment Period

The State’s Digital Equity Plan is now ready for review and public comment. The comment period will be open from November 27, 2023 – January 8, 2024.

In an effort to help individuals sort for resources available in their county, asset inventory headers are available in seven different languages.

The PBDA has identified 3 ways to submit comments:

  1. Submit your comments online via the PBDA’s form survey

  2. You can submit comments to the PBDA’s Digital Equity Resource Account by attaching a completed copy of this Public Comment Form. Please note that the PBDA will accept comments via email for a limited time and will close 30 days after the posting of the public form and are due to the PBDA by December 28, 2023. Resource account comments submitted after that time will not be reviewed by the PBDA.

  3. You can request that a printed version be mailed to you by emailing Mary Markle or by phone at 717.720.7457. Upon receipt of your printed copy you may call the PBDA directly at 717.214.7708 to provide comments on the Statewide Digital Equity Plan.

The PBDA strongly prefers submission of comment via the form survey, however all methods of public comment will be considered equally. Only one submission of comments per individual will be accepted. Lastly, please be aware that the PBDA will host seven in-person and two virtual Public Comment Sessions, to be held on the following dates:

  • Digital Equity Plan Public Comment Session – McKean County – Dec. 5, 2023

  • Digital Equity Plan Public Comment Session – Clearfield County – Dec. 7, 2023

  • Digital Equity Plan Public Comment Session – Washington County – Dec. 14, 2023

  • Digital Equity Plan Public Comment Session – Philadelphia County – Dec. 16, 2023

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