Pennsylvania Broadband Development Authority (Authority) Executive Director Brandon Carson announced that applications are being accepted for the Broadband Infrastructure Program, which will provide a total of $200 million in grants to businesses, non-profits, local government, and economic development organizations to help expand broadband in unserved or underserved areas of the Commonwealth.
Funded through the federal Capital Projects Fund, the Broadband Infrastructure Program will award grants for line extension and development projects, as well as large-scale regional infrastructure projects. Upon completion, projects must deliver service that meets or exceeds symmetrical download and upload speeds of 100 Megabits per second, with prioritization being given to fiber-optic deployment. Projects are also required to include a viable sustainability strategy to maintain, repair, and upgrade networks to ensure their continued operation.
“This new program is absolutely crucial in helping Pennsylvania ensure our communities have access to high-speed internet,” said Executive Director Carson. “The program will address the digital divide in the Commonwealth by awarding $200 million in grants to achieve last-mile connections and increase speed for underserved and unserved regions in the Commonwealth.”
The application period will close July 10, 2023, at 11:59 PM, and the Authority expects to award grants prior to the end of 2023. Funded projects must reach substantial completion ― defined as services being delivered to end users ― by December 31, 2026. The program will be administered in accordance with U.S. Treasury guidelines and Act 96 of 2021.