NTIA IIJA : $1.3 B - $1.4 Billion
for broadband grants (anticipated). Affecting factors include network speed and population.
Treasury CPF: $278.8 Million
for broadband grants (anticipated).
The Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development serves as the state’s point of contact for broadband related activities.
The state legislature is currently considering creating a state broadband authority.
Governor Tom Wolf joined with 11 other state governors in June 2020 asking the federal government for money to fund broadband networks.
Funding for broadband:
In July, 2021, a Pennsylvania House bill was introduced which would “devote $500 million of Pennsylvania's $7 billion federal infusion in American Rescue Plan allocation toward improving broadband access.”
President Biden’s infrastructure plan has been theorized to help “more than 390,000 [Pennsylvania] residents and make internet costs more affordable for struggling families” and particularly help in the Lehigh Valley region.
Unserved High-Speed Broadband Funding Program: The Unserved High-Speed Broadband Funding Program authorizes the Commonwealth Financing Authority to award grants that shall not exceed $1 million or 75 percent of the total project costs, whichever is less. This award may be granted to nongovernmental entities that have expertise with high-speed broadband service infrastructure in unserved areas of the state.
Pennsylvania Economic Development Financing Authority Tax Exempt Bond Program: The Tax Exempt Bond Program provides tax exempt bonds which can be used for broadband deployment.
Pennsylvania Economic Development Financing Authority Taxable Bond Program: The Taxable Bond Program provides taxable bonds which can be used for broadband deployment.
Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority: The Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority provides low-interest loans and lines of credit for eligible businesses, which can be used for broadband deployment.
Pennsylvania First Program: The Pennsylvania First Program provides grants, loans, and loan guarantees for eligible entities which can be used for broadband deployment.
Pennsylvania does not have a broadband plan. However, various commonwealth agencies are working to develop a comprehensive broadband plan.
Pennsylvania's Joint State Government Commission released a detailed report in June 2021 outlining current funding opportunities, business models and use cases for broadband in the state.
Penn State Extension makes a map of the FCC’s Form 477 data available and includes data census block group level data about reserve prices, and the locations of existing structure, including transmission lines, substation, and tower data.
In 2019, Penn State researchers investigated the validity of broadband availability data and found that broadband speeds and availability are much lower than data suggest.
Microsoft’s November 2019 data show that approximately 6.2 million people in Pennsylvania do not use the Internet at broadband speeds.
Sources: Next Century Cities, NTIA