WASHINGTON – The Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced that Pennsylvania received its first “Internet for All” grants for deploying high-speed Internet networks and developing digital skills training programs under the Biden-Harris Administration’s Internet for All initiative. Pennsylvania is receiving $6,604,131.73 in funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, signed by President Biden, to plan for the deployment and adoption of affordable, equitable, and reliable high-speed Internet service throughout the state.
“Pennsylvanians understand that unequal access to the Internet means unequal access to educational, economic and healthcare services and opportunities,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “These grants will put Pennsylvania on the path to equitably achieve high-speed Internet service for all residents. I commend Governor Wolf for his commitment to the Internet for All initiative to provide digital equity across Pennsylvania."
Kevin Gallagher, Senior Advisor to Secretary Raimondo, announced the grants at an event in Harrisburg, Pa. with Governor Tom Wolf.
“Pennsylvania’s lack of affordable, accessible broadband is one of the biggest challenges holding our economy back,” said Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf. “This $6.6 million is the beginning of a generational change waiting for Pennsylvanians. With guidance from the Pennsylvania Broadband Authority, distribution will be carefully targeted for guaranteed progress.”
“As chairman of the House Subcommittee on Communications and Technology, I worked hard to secure this federal funding to ensure that all Pennsylvanians have access to affordable, reliable broadband, and I was very pleased to see the Commonwealth and the NTIA announce this important milestone in that process” said Rep. Mike Doyle (PA-18).
"I was proud to vote in favor of the historic bipartisan infrastructure bill (IIJA) on behalf of my constituents in Philadelphia, and I am pleased to see progress in the Keystone State’s efforts to connect every American to high-speed, affordable broadband,” said Rep. Brendan Boyle (PA-02). "Equitable and affordable access to broadband Internet is an essential need for every Pennsylvanian, and we in government have an obligation to make that goal a reality. Today, we are doing just that. Now it is up to those in Pennsylvania, the public and other stakeholders, to take the reins and decide where to most effectively implement this new program that will allow us to better connect with those in Pennsylvania and beyond."
"Expanding access to reliable high-speed internet for all Pennsylvanians is key to ensuring our children can thrive at school, and our working families can participate and compete in our modern digital economy," said Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon (PA-05). "I'm proud to see the historic Bipartisan Infrastructure Law continue to deliver for Pennsylvania families by investing in the access and skills they need to stay connected and thrive."
“Southeastern Pennsylvania is an especially eclectic region—we are home to some of the country’s most innovative technology companies but also rural farmlands producing the majority of our nation’s mushrooms,” said Rep. Chrissy Houlahan (PA-06). “No matter where our families and businesses are rooted in our community, they need reliable internet to succeed. I join the U.S. Department of Commerce and Governor Wolf in celebrating these federal funds that will help small businesses compete on a level playing field, make education more equitable for our students, connect our seniors to the resources they need, and more. Simply put, stronger broadband means a stronger community. I look forward to working with the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development to improve the livelihoods of Pennsylvanians through greater digital access.”
All 50 U.S. states and six territories applied for planning grant funding for the Internet for All initiative's Broadband, Equity, Access and Deployment (BEAD) program and the Digital Equity Act program. Grant awards for all 56 eligible entities will be announced on a rolling basis.
About Pennsylvania’s Planning Grants
Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment Program
The BEAD Program provides $42.45 billion to expand high-speed Internet access by funding planning, infrastructure deployment and adoption programs.
Pennsylvania will receive $5 million to fund various activities including:
- Identification of unserved and underserved locations in the Commonwealth.
- Capacity building of the broadband office;
- Development of a 5-year action plan identifying Pennsylvania’s high-speed Internet access, affordability, equity, and adoptions needs;
- Assessment of the barriers residents face hampering their ability to access reliable Internet service.
The Digital Equity Act provides $2.75 billion to establish three grant programs to ensure that all people and communities have the skills, technology, and capacity needed to reap the full benefits of our digital economy. The first part of NTIA’s execution of the Digital Equity Act is to fund digital equity planning efforts.
Pennsylvania will receive $1,604,131.73 to fund various activities including:
- Development of a digital equity plan;
- Building staff capacity for the Pennsylvania Broadband Office;
- Engaging with community members and stakeholders on equity, including a consultant-led needs assessment and inventory of assets.
Internet for All
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law includes a historic $65 billion investment to expand affordable and reliable high-speed Internet access in communities across the U.S. NTIA recently launched a series of new high-speed Internet grant programs funded by the law that will build high-speed Internet infrastructure across the country, create more low-cost high-speed Internet service options, and address the digital equity and inclusion needs in our communities.
Additionally, the Federal Communications Commission’s Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) provides a discount of up to $30 per month toward internet service for eligible households and up to $75 per month for households on qualifying Tribal lands. Visit AffordableConnectivity.gov to learn more.
For more information on the Biden-Harris Administration’s high-speed Internet service programs, please visit InternetforAll.gov.