Bellefonte, PA – Governor Tom Wolf was joined by U.S. Department of Commerce Under Secretary Jed Kolko at Marion-Walker Elementary in Centre County today to highlight the Biden-Harris Administration’s $45 billion Internet for All Initiative and Pennsylvania’s readiness to manage more than $100 million in federal funds to deploy affordable, high-speed internet to Pennsylvanians.
“Lack of broadband hurts Pennsylvanians far and wide—urban and rural. Our lack of consistent, affordable broadband keeps children from learning effectively, businesses from growing, limits job opportunities, and reduces medical care options,” said Governor Wolf. “But soon this will all be history—that we can read online—thanks to the Biden Administration’s continued commitment to improved infrastructure for our combined success.”
Last Friday, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced the launch of Internet for All to provide affordable, reliable, high-speed internet for everyone in America by the end of the decade. The $45 billion initiative is made of up three programs to build internet infrastructure, teach digital skills, and provide necessary technology to ensure that everyone—including communities of color, rural communities, and older Americans—has the access and skills needed to fully participate in today’s society.
“For more than 20 years, we’ve been talking about closing the digital divide in America. Now we finally have a chance to do it,” said Alan Davidson, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information and NTIA Administrator. “Together, we can make sure that everyone in Pennsylvania has access to the affordable high-speed internet service they need to succeed in the 21st century economy. I’m grateful to Governor Wolf and all the community leaders working to make this dream a reality for Pennsylvanians.”
Pennsylvania will receive at least $100 million from the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment Program. Hundreds of millions in additional formula funding will be made based on the forthcoming coverage maps from the Federal Communications Commission. To prepare for this funding and ensure oversight and support for broadband deployment in Pennsylvania, Governor Wolf and Pennsylvania’s General Assembly worked across party lines to create the Pennsylvania Broadband Development Authority