Chairs of the Senate Communications and Technology Committee are collecting feedback to support Pennsylvania’s broadband expansion planning efforts
[MONTGOMERY COUNTY], PA (August 14, 2023) – Senators Tracy Pennycuick (Montgomery/Berks) and Jimmy Dillon (Philadelphia) today announced a public meeting to engage the community in discussions about broadband use and experiences. The meeting will also provide information about the Commonwealth’s work to develop an action plan to ensure equitable, affordable broadband access for all residents, businesses, and communities.
Those interested in participating are invited to join the meeting scheduled for September 5, 6:00pm, at Montgomery County Community College Pottstown Campus’ North Hall building, Room 202, 16 East High Street, Pottstown, PA 19464.
Businesses, community organizations, nonprofit organizations, and the general public are strongly encouraged to attend. A boxed meal will be provided at the event. Attendees are asked to RSVP utilizing this link.
“This is our opportunity to finally close the digital divide and ensure that fast and reliable internet connections are available to every Pennsylvania resident,” Senator Tracy Pennycuick said. “We rely on connectivity in almost every part of our daily lives, everything from how we communicate and run our businesses to ways in which we access services and educate our children. I am excited to host this meeting and receive critical feedback from residents so that we can ensure that everyone is served in our state.”
The meeting hosted by Sens. Pennycuick and Dillion is a part a larger strategic effort led by the Pennsylvania Broadband Development Authority (PBDA). Through a robust meeting series, the PBDA will connect with a diverse array of Pennsylvanians and use the public input to help develop plans to address broadband service needs in unserved and underserved communities. The plans will help ensure everyone has the skills, technology, and capacity needed to benefit from our digital economy.
“I’m excited about this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Broadband Deployment funds to improve connectivity across the Commonwealth,” Senator Dillon said. “We need community input to make every dollar count. Pennsylvanians know best where broadband is needed and where current infrastructure is lacking. Their insights will shape implementation and maximize the economic impact for our communities and small businesses.”
Pennycuick and Dillon chair the Senate Communications and Technology Committee.
“Far too many Pennsylvanians lack access to affordable, reliable high-speed internet access or face barriers to accessing the technology necessary to participate in our society and economy fully,” said PBDA Executive Director Brandon Carson. “We are seeking to close the digital divide, and the feedback we receive through community meetings is essential as the Commonwealth develops its Broadband, Equity, Access and Deployment and Digital Equity plans.”
The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), also known as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, authorized a $65 billion investment into broadband to close the digital divide. Pennsylvania is guaranteed a minimum of $100 million and is expected to receive hundreds of millions in additional funding through formula or competitive funding opportunities. The community meetings are critical to the planning process and will help inform Pennsylvania’s path forward when the Commonwealth secures funding and implements the plans.
For more information about the Pennsylvania Broadband Development Authority (PBDA) and the upcoming community engagement activities, visit the PBDA’s website.
About the Pennsylvania Broadband Development Authority (PBDA)
The PBDA is responsible for creating a statewide broadband plan and distributing federal and state monies for broadband expansion projects in unserved and underserved areas of Pennsylvania. PBDA efforts focus on closing Pennsylvania’s digital divide so all Pennsylvanians can get connected to affordable and reliable high-speed broadband internet at home, at work, or on the road.
DCED: Penny Ickes, email@example.com
Senator Pennycuick: Matt Szuchyt, firstname.lastname@example.org
Senator Dillion: Jared Vento, email@example.com