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Rural Central Pa. counties to see expanded broadband access

[Published by ABC 27, Harrisburg on April 5th, 2022]

(WHTM) — These days, the vast majority of Americans have access to high-speed internet at home, and now, more and more people are getting connected, especially in rural parts of the Midstate region.

On Monday, April 14, United States Senator Bob Casey (D) visited Fort Littleton to highlight the over $20 million that Pennsylvania received to expand high-speed internet and deploy last-mile fixed wireless service to Bedford, Franklin, Fulton, Huntingdon, Juniata, and Mifflin counties.

The last-mile fixed wireless internet will allow people to receive high-speed internet via a fixed hub that beams the internet signal directly to an antenna on a home or business without the need for a cable or phone line.

Referring to the maps showing the current broadband coverage (pictured below), Casey said, “You can see all those areas, not blue. That means an awful lot of Fulton County is not – it doesn’t have connectivity, doesn’t have high-speed internet.”

Before Expansion

On the map, the white is unserved and the blue is served. The idea is to work with companies like Alleghenies Broadband to make it look more like the map below.

After Expansion

Pennsylvania will also receive hundreds of millions of dollars from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act to provide broadband coverage and expand high-speed internet access to 394,000 more Pennsylvanians.

“High-speed internet keeps families connected, allows kids to do their homework, and sets small businesses up to thrive beyond their communities. Organizations like Upward Broadband have been working to make this a reality and now they have the federal dollars to make it happen.”

The funding from the infrastructure law will provide $42.5 billion for the Broadband Equity, Access & Deployment Program, which will allocate $14.2 billion of it to the Affordable Connectivity Program. The program provides $30 a month to qualifying households to help purchase broadband service.

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