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Outgoing Gov. Tom Wolf announces funding for 'Internet for All' initiative

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HARRISBURG (KDKA) - On Thursday, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf announced that the Commonwealth will receive $6.6 million from President Joe Biden's "Internet for All" initiative.

These are the first funds to be awarded of the more than $100 million that will be managed by the Pennsylvania Broadband Authority.

"Pennsylvania's lack of affordable, accessible broadband is one of the biggest challenges holding our economy back," said Gov. 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."

Of the funding coming to Pennsylvania, $5 million will be used to expand high-speed internet access through funding planning, infrastructure deployment, and adoption programs, and $1.6 million from the Digital Equity Act that ensures communities have the skills, technology, and capacity to participate in a digital economy.

The funding will be administered through the PBA and last week the authority released its "Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Statewide Broadband Plan" which you can read right here

That authority was created through a bipartisan effort in December 2021 and works to bridge the digital divide in Pennsylvania.

"Families living without broadband face significant barriers in educational opportunities, employment opportunities, and access to basic needs such as healthcare through telemedicine," said Western Beaver County School District and Blackhawk School District Superintendent Dr. Rob Postupac. "For too long now, those in our rural communities have had to live in digital darkness. The time has come to tackle this issue."

The plan will focus on including up to 800,000 unserved Pennsylvanians who do not have access to broadband internet.

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