HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – New research suggests the digital divide in Pennsylvania is worse than originally believed.
The FCC says more than 800,000 Pennsylvanians do not have access to broadband internet speed, and a recent report by the Center for Rural Pennsylvania says that estimate is low.
Researchers collected more than 11 million broadband speed tests across the state and found many areas did not meet the FCC’s broadband connection criteria of 25 megabit download speeds.
The study also found no counties where at least half the population receives broadband connectivity, and speeds in rural areas are substantially worse than those in urban and suburban communities.
“What it shows is that we have two Pennsylvanias,” state Rep. Garth Everett (R-Lycoming/Union) said. “We have a Pennsylvania in the urban and suburban areas that have great internet connectivity, and then we have rural Pennsylvania where we do not have the connectivity even close to necessary.”
The Center for Rural Pennsylvania isn’t recommending any specific action. It is distributing its report to all lawmakers at the state Capitol.