There were 611 press releases posted in the last 24 hours and 392,025 in the last 365 days.

Baker, Brown, Flynn Secure $42.5 Million to Improve High-Speed Internet Access in Northeastern Pennsylvania

HARRISBURGApril 18, 2024 − The Pennsylvania Broadband Development Authority (PBDA) announced today that northeastern Pennsylvania is being awarded $42.5 million to increase access to reliable, high-speed internet, according to Sens. Lisa Baker (R-20), Rosemary Brown (R-40) and Marty Flynn (D-22).

“Money for expanded and enhanced internet access is a key component of every economic development strategy, benefiting all communities. It is especially crucial in helping rural areas remain competitive for jobs. This helps businesses, institutions, educators, workers and at-home entrepreneurs. Wherever I go across the region, this funding has been a prominent request from officials and residents,” Baker said. “Even this down payment on meeting a range of needs will have a tangible impact. We are relying on the companies to utilize the funding in ways that will provide the greatest benefit for the entire customer base.”

The approved grants include separate projects being performed by Adams CATV, Comcast Cable and Verizon:

  • $22,029,647 million for Lackawanna County
  • $9,976,419 for Luzerne County
  • $5,953,318 for Monroe, Pike and Wayne counties
  • $4,018,650 for Wyoming County
  • $517,292 for Wayne County

Made possible through the federally funded Broadband Infrastructure Program, $200 million in competitive grants have been allocated for projects across the state aimed at areas without access to 25/3 Mbps internet service.

“High-speed internet isn’t a luxury – it’s a necessity for residents, especially in regions like northeastern Pennsylvania. It’s the key to unlocking economic opportunity, educational advancement and community connectivity. Without it, we risk leaving entire communities behind in the digital age,” Brown said. “I commend the PBDA for their proactive approach in ensuring the success of this initiative. Together, we will propel northeastern Pennsylvania into a future where reliable internet access is a reality for all.”

To ensure transparency and efficiency, the PBDA mandates quarterly and annual progress reports from grantees, accompanied by comprehensive guidance on state and federal requirements and technical support. All funds must be utilized by Dec. 31, 2026. Grantees will be held accountable for the prudent expenditure of awarded funds. The PBDA can claw back any unused or misused funds.

“This investment is a critical step toward bridging the digital divide,” Flynn said. “Access to high-speed internet is essential for education, healthcare, business and everyday life. These funds will empower our constituents and strengthen our local economy.”

This inaugural round of grants represents a significant milestone in the PBDA’s broader initiative to close the digital divide since the General Assembly established the PBDA in 2021.