HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — The State Senate approved a bill Tuesday that would establish a grant program to extend broadband services in under-served areas of the state.

This bill was announced by Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman (R-34.)

“The greater need for distance learning, telehealth and more during COVID-19 widened our digital divide,” Senator Corman said. “Today, we are taking steps to narrow it again.”

Senate Bill 835 would provide funding to improve access to high-speed broadband internet in rural areas of PA, which currently do not have access to reliable networks.   It would limit funding to entities that have demonstrated the ability to construct and administer internet services and require that they provide 20 percent of the funding for the project.  

Access to broadband has become even more crucial during the COVID-19 health crisis, connecting residents with services and information they would otherwise not have access to.  It is also important to those who telework, senior citizens, fire and emergency workers, and students who are taking classes remotely. 

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