In Centre County, administrators are moving quickly to finalize broadband expansion plans that will be boosted through state funding.
Just a few weeks ago, we told you the state is earmarking $200 million in federal pandemic relief funds for broadband expansion in Pennsylvania.
“Rural broadband needs have been something critical that I think every citizen who lives in an underserved area, or knows folks who do, understands how important this is to economic development and education.”
On Tuesday, the Centre County commissioners formally opened the gate for internet provider companies to submit plans for broadband expansion projects in the county.
The county’s broadband strategic plan previously identified three rural areas, with up to 9000 homes, in the county most in need of a service upgrades.
“In all honesty, we could be looking at three separate projects in Centre County that could move forward at once. I think that would be great.”
At least a half a dozen companies have expressed interest in Centre County broadband work. An important next phase will include public education and input.
“If a provider can come in, they need to serve at least 80 percent of the households in the project area, that are served and underserved.”
To line up funding for the project, the county is working with Pennsylvania’s broadband authority.
There’s a mid-July deadline for the county to submit their plans to the authority.