HARRISBURG – Continuing his commitment to bring additional high-speed internet service to rural communities across the state, Rep. Martin Causer (R-Cameron/McKean/Potter) has introduced bipartisan legislation to commit $100 million in federal stimulus funding to the effort.
“A lack of high-speed internet service puts rural communities – and the people who live there – at a significant disadvantage,” Causer said. “Students have fewer tools to learn, businesses are less competitive and patients are further limited in their health care options. We need to make a serious commitment to extending broadband service across Commonwealth.”
House Bill 1766
would direct $100 million in federal funding to the Unserved High-Speed Broadband Funding Program, which was created last year through legislation Causer also sponsored.
The program provides grants in support of broadband expansion in areas most in need of these services. Initial funding came from a repeal of the $5 million Mobile Telecommunications Broadband Investment Tax Credit, but far more funding is needed.
The grant program is being administered by the Commonwealth Financing Authority. Preference is given to applicants with projects in the most underserved areas of the Commonwealth, as defined by the Federal Communications Commission’s minimum speed requirements, and to projects that already have federal funding allocated to them.
“Broadband service is not a luxury in this day and age,” Causer said. “It truly is a necessity and I consider this funding proposal to be a necessary investment in our future.”
The bill is pending consideration by the House Consumer Affairs Committee.
Representative Martin T. Causer
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Patricia A. Hippler