For Immediate Release
March 3, 2022
Contact: Kirstin Snow, firstname.lastname@example.org
RELEASE: Broadband Access Investment in PA — what it means for businesses, healthcare, education, jobs
Event highlighted the profoundly transformative effects, opportunities of high-speed internet infrastructure for Commonwealth and its residents
Harrisburg, PA — Today the Keystone Research Center, the 99% PA campaign, ReImagine Appalachia, PA League of Women Voters, Representative Pam Snyder, and others hosted a press conference outlining the federal funding for broadband expansion that is coming to Pennsylvania through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, as well as identifying opportunities for additional funding and jobs if our state and local governments actively embrace it and propose innovative plans to expand it. Remarks will focus on not only the state of PA but also what it means for the larger Appalachian region.
Dr. Susan Boser, Professor of Sociology at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. A life-long resident of rural areas, Dr. Boser serves on the PA League of Women Voters Government Policy and Social Policy Committees, and her work focuses on the impact that the lack of high-speed broadband access has on rural economies, education and healthcare.
State Representative Pam Snyder, House District 50; PA Broadband Authority
Dr. Stephen Herzenberg, Executive Director, Keystone Research Center and Chair, ReImagine Appalachia
In setting the stage for the press conference, Stephen Herzenberg said, “Broadband today is basic and essential infrastructure. Like access to water or electricity, we all depend on it. The infrastructure bill has the resources needed to deliver to all Pennsylvanians universal, affordable high-quality internet. This is a big win for our rural businesses, our working families, our students from kindergarten to college and career, our farmers, our low-income neighborhoods—for all of us.”
Addressing some of the issues faced by those in rural Pennsylvania, Dr. Boser said in her remarks, “On any weeknight, if you would drive into Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, you’d see cars in the parking lot around the McDonald’s. It’s parents who are sitting there, accessing the broadband so that their children can do their homework. That’s been the state of things in Pennsylvania, rural areas, for about the last 10 years.”
Rep. Pam Snyder, in talking about the Broadband Development Authority, said, “We’re going to need experts from the industry. We’re going to need folks from our labor union sector. We want to make sure that this money is utilized properly and that it goes to Pennsylvania workers. This is to make sure that we are servicing unserved and underserved areas in the Commonwealth.”
A recording of the press conference is available here.