Mar. 10, 2023
– As the House Republican designee for the Pennsylvania Broadband Development Authority, Rep. Carl Walker Metzgar (R-Somerset) announced today that Michael Baker International, a Pittsburgh-based company, was unanimously named the entity to help the Authority maximize the effectiveness and amount of all federal funds to be received by the Commonwealth for broadband buildout in rural areas.
“Broadband is a crucial issue for Pennsylvania, and it’s needed to allow people to perform their everyday duties – the modern equivalent of the rural electrification effort of decades past,” said Metzgar. “We appreciate the funding opportunities presented to the Commonwealth, and this competitive bid process helps us be good stewards about how we can best utilize the federal dollars.”
Michael Baker International will be tasked with reviewing and providing recommendations for the Digital Equity Act and Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) Program’s five-year action plan to ensure compliance and efficiency. Other roles include development and deployment of a statewide, community survey; partnering with the Authority to host in-person community outreach events to help identify locally specific barriers and inform asset mapping; and development of a “Broadband Ready” framework or checklist to prepare local units of government for broadband projects.
Metzgar said as the timeline is necessarily aggressive, the deadline to complete the BEAD Five-Year Action Plan is Aug. 12, and the statewide digital equity plan must be developed no later than Oct. 31.
Representative Carl Walker Metzgar
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Nate Temple