Wolf Administration Discusses Broadband Best Practices at CCAP Fall Conference

Hershey, PA – Today, Governor’s Office of Broadband Initiatives Executive Director Sheri Collins spoke at the 2019 Fall Conference for the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania (CCAP), discussing how lack of broadband access negatively affects Pennsylvania’s rural areas, and how the Restore Pennsylvania proposal can expand access and close the digital divide in the commonwealth.

Executive Director Collins moderated a discussion during which panel participants shared insight into their own broadband efforts, while highlighting best practices and successes that conference attendees may be able to utilize or replicate in their own counties.

“Today is an opportunity to educate attendees from counties across the state, and specifically those in our rural areas, about how Restore Pennsylvania could change what has become a normal way of life for many people,” said Executive Director Collins. “These broadband limitations affect our children, families, neighbors, and friends, so it is crucial to get the entire state on the same playing field.”

CCAP’s fall conference features programming with a focus on “hot topics” for counties and allows for the association to plan for its priorities and goals for the coming legislative year.

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 year 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 addressed in your community by visiting the Restore Pennsylvania website.

For more information about the Department of Community & Economic Development (DCED), visit the DCED website, and be sure to stay up-to-date with all of our agency news on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Casey Smith, DCED, 717.783.1132

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