Pennsylvania State Rep. Pam Snyder (D-Greene/Fayette/Washington counties) is seeking cosponsors for legislation she plans to introduced that would increase broadband service to unserved and underserved areas.
Snyder said broadband access is a necessity during the COVID-19 pandemic because so many people are working or going to school remotely.
“Reliable broadband access is needed regardless of where you live in our state, and we know that several areas across Pennsylvania are falling behind, and that is unacceptable,” Snyder said. “Fair and equal access is a goal I have been working toward for some time, and now, more than ever, as we continue to work through this pandemic, this access is vital to our everyday lives.”
Under the bill, $50 million from the federal CARES Act would be used to expand broadband internet access state.
The bill creates a grant program for the distribution of funds. Grants would be awarded to projects improving infrastructure and residents’ access to broadband.
The Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development would oversee the program, determining which areas are unserved and underserved and should receive funding.
“We cannot continue to allow our rural communities and underserved urban areas to keep falling behind when internet access, now more than ever, is so important to our everyday lives,” Snyder said.