Legislation to support continued efforts to bring broadband internet service to the Northern Tier of Pennsylvania passed the Pennsylvania House unanimously.
House Bill 2071, sponsored by Reps. Martin Causer, R-Annin Township; Clint Owlett, R-Wellsboro; and Tina Pickett, R-Bradford, would establish the Pennsylvania Broadband Development Authority, which would bring all parties to the table to facilitate funds and coordinate broadband development.
The bill passed the House, 200-0, on Wednesday, and heads to the Senate for consideration.
Pennsylvania is expected to receive at least $100 million under the recently approved federal infrastructure bill and could obtain more after the authority develops a statewide plan for broadband expansion.
“Access to high-speed internet is not a luxury but a necessity for our students and teachers, our farmers and business owners, and our doctors and patients,” Causer said in a news release. “We have an unprecedented opportunity to finally see the kind of investment we need to get quality broadband service to people across rural Pennsylvania and it’s vital we make sure that money is spent wisely.”