Pennsylvania Broadband Gets Big Boost From Latest Grant Funding

The Pennsylvania Broadband Development Authority (PBDA) recently announced that they will be investing over $204 million in public funds. This investment will be matched by over $200 million from private sources. The funds will be used to support broadband expansion projects in Pennsylvania.

The money will be used to support 53 broadband projects in 42 counties. These projects will connect over 40,000 residents and businesses, as stated in the PBDA’s announcement.

“These projects will use past federal funding and private investment to connect communities to the internet. The PBDA will keep working to make this happen for more people in Pennsylvania,” said Brandon Carson, Executive Director of the PBDA. Carson described the grant awards as a big step towards connecting the state.

“Expanding access to the internet is important for people in Pennsylvania to live healthy and productive lives. It creates opportunities for everyone in our state,” he said, according to the PBDA’s release.

The projects chosen for the grants were selected based on their size and scope. The ability of the applicant to successfully carry out the proposed deployment was also taken into consideration. Eligibility is determined based on the National Broadband Map from the Federal Communications Commission.

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PBDA recently made an announcement and reminded Pennsylvania stakeholders about the opportunity to take part in the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) Program’s BEAD Challenge Process.

“The BEAD Challenge Process allows people involved to question the data from the National Broadband Map by providing evidence that is relevant and allowed, including local data,” stated PBDA’s announcement.

Verizon is building almost half of the projects, which is a total of 22. Comcast is leading a dozen projects in the latest round of funding. Last week, some other organizations that received funds were Claverack Communications, Armstrong Telecommunications, Alleghenies Broadband, and Upward Broadband.

The companies that receive the funds will be responsible for creating networks that have download and upload speeds of at least 100 Megabits per second, according to the PBDA’s announcement. The projects were required to be completed by December 31, 2026.

The grants are part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Program and are funded through the federal Capital Projects Fund. Network builders who receive the grants will need to come up with plans to keep existing networks in good condition by doing maintenance, repairs, and upgrades. According to the PBDA, 95 percent of the people in Pennsylvania who don’t have access to something live in rural areas of the state.

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