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Federal funding for broadband projects awarded


HARRISBURG — Blair, Cambria, Clearfield, Centre and Huntingdon counties are expected to benefit from the release of $204 million in federal funding for projects aimed at closing the digital divide and expanding reliable high-speed internet access in Pennsylvania.


Two farmers with a laptop in wheat field. Credit: iStockphoto LP

The Pennsylvania Broadband Development Authority announced Thursday that it approved Broadband Infrastructure Program (BIP) grant awards to help fund 53 projects in 42 counties, using federal Capital Projects Funds established under the American Rescue Plan Act.


“Too many Pennsylvanians don’t have the high-speed internet they need to do their homework, support their small business or stay connected with loved ones,” U.S. Sen. Bob Casey said in a statement reporting the authority’s action. “This funding will help close the digital divide in Pennsylvania communities that need it most, rural and urban areas alike.”


Information released by the state broadband authority indicates that the funded projects are expected to provide reliable high-speed internet access to more than 40,000 homes and businesses.


“Too many Pennsylvanians don’t have the high-speed internet they need to do their homework, support their small business or stay connected with loved ones. This funding will help close the digital divide in Pennsylvania communities that need it most, rural and urban areas alike.”

In releasing news about the funding, the authority did not spell out details about the funded projects, but it did release a chart showing project locations and allocations totaling $204 million.


Projects on that list show:

  • Alleghenies Broadband Inc. will get $1.8 million for improvements in Blair County.

  • Comcast Cable Communications LLC will get $3.29 million for improvements in Blair and Cambria counties.

  • Verizon Pennsylvania LLC will get $5.52 million for improvements in Blair, Centre, Clearfield and Huntingdon counties.

  • Verizon Pennsylvania LLC will get $4.81 million for improvements in Centre and Clearfield counties.

  • Verizon Pennsylvania LLC will get $5.75 million for improvements in Centre and Clearfield counties.

  • Verizon Pennsylvania LLC will get $4.07 million for improvements in Huntingdon County.


State Sen. Judy Ward, R-30th District, said the inaugural rounds of grants represent a significant milestone to close the digital divide since the authority was established in 2021 by the General Assembly.


“The ability to access high-speed broadband is for more than just entertainment,” Ward said. “Services that our communities rely on every day, like EMS, police and fire, depend on the efficient and reliable broadband.”


State Sen. Wayne Langerholc Jr., R-35th District, also praised the authority’s action and predicted that the investments will have a lasting impact.


Information provided by the authority indicates that the funded projects are to be completed by Dec. 31, 2026. The authority also indicates that it will work closely with internet service providers and others to ensure that the projects are completed as expeditiously as possible.


“The ability to access high-speed broadband is for more than just entertainment. Services that our communities rely on every day, like EMS, police and fire, depend on the efficient and reliable broadband.”

Ricky Frazier Jr., senior vice president of Comcast’s Keystone Region based in Pennsylvania, said his company was thrilled to have been selected by the state to extend service into unserved areas.


“The enthusiasm for our company within these communities has been humbling,” Frazier said. “There is a strong desire for Xfinity and Comcast Business services and we look forward to meeting that need.”

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