The Pennsylvania Broadband Development Authority (Authority) released the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Statewide Broadband Plan (Plan). The Plan addresses both the immediate needs and long-term needs of Pennsylvanians.
“Broadband is as essential today as electricity and water. But there is a digital divide in Pennsylvania,” said Gov. Wolf. “This plan will ensure consistent, affordable, quality statewide broadband to keep children learning, businesses growing, and opportunities abounding for all Pennsylvanians.”
The Authority’s Plan to expand broadband across the commonwealth focuses on the challenges and opportunities including improving broadband service infrastructure and availability, digital equity and affordability, device and technology access, and digital literacy and technical support. With a clear picture of the current state of broadband in Pennsylvania outlined—including up to 800,000 unserved Pennsylvanians—the Plan includes actionable steps to achieve universal broadband access.
To meet this high goal, the commonwealth is committed to:
- Maintaining current and accurate data on unserved and underserved populations,
- Reducing obstacles to broadband deployment,
- Supporting and maintaining a skilled workforce,
- Ensuring devices are made available and affordable,
- Ensuring multiple affordable service options are available,
- Ensuring affordable options are sustainable,
- Providing training so that every person can meet foundational digital literacy skills, and
- Developing a technical support network.
“Equal access to the internet, regardless of location or income, must be provided if Pennsylvania is to remain competitive,” said Executive Director of the Authority Brandon Carson. “Broadband access affects every area of our lives – from work, to education, to health, and safety. Closing the digital divide helps enhance our communities and fosters economic growth and innovation for all Pennsylvanians.”