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Rural Broadband in Centre County

One of the priorities in the new federal infrastructure bill is to improve broadband access nationwide. And with that in mind, one area county isn’t waiting long in assessing its current resources and determining where upgrades can be made.

Gary Sindererson brings us our story. Centre County is more of that State College and Penn State, where Wi-Fi is plentiful, especially when it comes to broadband access. As they say, the county can get real rural, real quick.

Centre County Commissioner Steve Dersham.

“This is the electricity of the 1930s when we were trying to electrify a lot of rural America while we’re providing information technology to to rural America now.”

Tuesday, Centre County commissioners approved spending $175,000 from the county’s federal COVID relief funding on hiring a consultant to do a countywide broadband strategic plan.

The county’s planning office says “We are really excited to see what could come out of this. As far as what the needed infrastructure is, where it should go and what part we can play, especially with the future funding opportunities, hopefully within the next couple of years actually be providing broadband service throughout rural parts of Centre County.

“We’ve already done major parts of Penn’s Valley, George’s Valley and Brush Valley. But I’d like to spread that out further.”

That’s County Commissioner Mark Higgins, a broadband studies expected to take six months to complete


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