Restore Pennsylvania Will Expand Rural Broadband Access

Port Allegany, PA – Today, Governor’s Office of Broadband Initiatives Acting Executive Director Sheri Collins spoke to attendees at the 106th Annual County Convention in Port Allegany, McKean County, discussing how lack of broadband access negatively affects the region and how the Restore Pennsylvania proposal can expand access and close the digital divide in the commonwealth.

“Rural Pennsylvanians—whether at work, home, or school—are disproportionally affected by lack of access to high-speed internet, which impacts their lives on a daily basis,” said Collins. “It is imperative that we enact Restore Pennsylvania so that everyone can have the basic resources they need to live, work, and play anywhere in the commonwealth.

The annual convention provides a forum for township officials to discuss local government issues and gain new information to help them serve their communities and constituents.

Restore Pennsylvania, the $4.5 billion bipartisan proposal funded through a commonsense severance tax will provide funding to completely bridge the digital divide in every community in Pennsylvania. Funding will be available to support installation of infrastructure to bring high speed internet to every corner of the commonwealth.

Nearly a million Pennsylvanians today lack access to robust, reliable, high-speed internet. According to a report published earlier this month from the Center for Rural Pennsylvania, internet connectivity speeds are substantially slower in rural counties than in urban ones. Due to the cost of broadband infrastructure, local municipalities cannot fund the purchase and installation of that infrastructure themselves. If passed into law, Restore Pennsylvania will support every phase of the process from feasibility testing to connection at a level far beyond any existing funding mechanisms.

Restore Pennsylvania is a statewide plan to aggressively address the commonwealth’s vital infrastructure needs. Funded through a commonsense severance tax, Restore Pennsylvania is the only plan that will help make Pennsylvania a leader in the 21st century.

Learn more about what critical infrastructure could be fixed in your community by visiting the Restore Pennsylvania website.

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MEDIA CONTACTS:
Casey Smith, DCED, 717.783.1132

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