PENNSYLVANIA — Pennsylvania is receiving over $17 billion from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, including $100 million to expand broadband access and infrastructure across the commonwealth. On Friday, local leaders from Somerset, Cambria, Indiana and Bedford counties convened to discuss what this transformative investment will mean for rural communities in Pennsylvania.

Here’s what Pennsylvanians are reading…

WTAJ: County leaders meet to discuss rural broadband expansion

The Commonwealth will receive $17 billion from this law. Then, roughly $100 million of those dollars are planned to be used for broadband expansion.

The county leaders on the conference call came from Somerset, Cambria, Indiana, and Bedford counties. They all expressed clearly that this investment in broadband will help the 394,000 Pennsylvanians with little internet in the long run.


Part of that plan including approving a budget that rebuilds 25 existing towers and builds 10 new towers. Baughman calls the law transformative in leveling the playing field for the area.

“Providing critical broadband infrastructure is necessary for rural Pennsylvanians to do their jobs,” Baughman said. “To participate equally in school learning. To access healthcare and remain connected to others, which has been extremely important during the pandemic.”

Pennsylvania Capital-Star: ‘It’s not a luxury, it’s a necessity:’ Advocates, officials emphasize need for high-speed broadband in rural Pa. 

“Industry has left rural Pennsylvania and to get it back, we’re going to need dependable broadband service,” Donald Griner, a Cambria County-based representative of the American Council of State, Federal, Municipal and County Employees, said. “This creates more places for business to open, which employs more people, and provides a better standard of living for everyone Once we make this investment, we get business coming in, and people moving in. That a creates more tax revenue for local governments without raising taxes. They can reinvest in the infrastructure locally.”

The irony that was he speaking on a Zoom call, where a high-speed connection is a requirement, wasn’t lost on Griner, who said he rode out more than one choppy call at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic as tens of thousands of Pennsylvanians made the rocky transition to working from home, and, for their children, online schooling.

James Smith, the elected auditor for Indiana County, said the funding will allow more rural Pennsylvanians to access the burgeoning field of telemedicine, sparing them long drives to the doctor’s office.

“We have a lot of people who travel from Indiana to Pittsburgh,” Smith, a Democrat, said. “It’s because of this kind of investment that they will have more options to them so they don’t have to take a whole day off from work to travel to Pittsburgh to access quality medical care.”