One of Governor Tom Wolf’s top priorities has been expanding internet access, particularly to those in rural areas.
On Monday, his administration released a long-awaited report on its broadband expansion plans.
It does seem strange to some that in this day and age, thousands in Pennsylvania still have little or no internet access.
“There are more than 219 households with no internet.”
Kyle Kopko was with Governor Wolf this past spring when they visited the Marion Walker Elementary School to discuss expanding broadband service in rural areas.
The governor said that finding out how many households don’t have service, and where they live, is only the first step in resolving the issue.
“We have to address what is the technology we are going to use. How are we going to make it affordable for everybody. How are we going to create digital literacy for everybody. So, we have a lot of work to do.”
On Monday, the state Broadband Development Authority released their statewide broadband plan.
In Centre County, there are nine different internet providers, and some have moved forward with their own development plans.
“We have seen smaller scale projects. Things are in place to get off the ground. Comcast has a couple of projects, but they’ll take 18-24 months.”
Pennsylvania is expected to receive at least $100 million in federal funding for broadband expansion.
The new report is seen as vital in helping to direct how that money will be distributed.
“We are waiting for the release of the money. We are anticipating the summer of 2023 to see that application process open.”