– Pennsylvania’s recent success in the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Rural Digital Opportunity Fund Auction is an encouraging and significant step toward expanding high-speed internet service to unserved and underserved areas of the state, including parts of the 110th Legislative District, according to Rep. Tina Pickett (R-Bradford/Sullivan/Susquehanna.)
A total of 13 bidders were awarded nearly $369 million to improve broadband access for an estimated 327,000 Pennsylvania residents over the next 10 years. Among the bidders were five companies that provide internet service to homes and businesses in Bradford, Sullivan and Susquehanna counties.
“The slow pace of broadband expansion in our region has been a major frustration of mine for many years. With more people working and learning from home these days, reliable internet access is needed now more than ever,” said Pickett. “The General Assembly recently enacted several new laws relating to broadband expansion. Those measures, along with this federal funding, should lead to improved broadband access locally and across the Commonwealth, sooner rather than later.”
The awards by county are as follows:
Bradford County - $22.9 million/6,549 locations.
Sullivan County - $8.9 million/3,499 locations.
Susquehanna County - $18.8 million/5,702 locations.
Bradford and Susquehanna counties received two of the top allocations in Pennsylvania, Pickett added.
The state Public Utility Commission noted that only a handful of states received more broadband support than Pennsylvania, with bidders and projects across the Commonwealth more successful than those in 43 other states. The federal program is intended to expand broadband service to over 10 million rural Americans.