Dush Calls for Immediate Citizen Input on Rural Broadband Expansion Plan

SMETHPORT – With the Pennsylvania Broadband Development Authority (PBDA) opening the public comment period for its proposed Digital Broadband Expansion Plan, Sen. Cris Dush (R-25) is strongly encouraging individual citizens to make their voices heard.

“Rural Pennsylvanians, especially the citizens I represent in McKean County and surrounding areas, have been suffering from the total lack of interest of major broadband providers for far too long,” said Dush. “This unfortunate digital divide negatively impacts families, schools, local governments, hospitals, job-creating businesses and numerous properties that are used for various agricultural, forestry, natural gas or utility purposes—all of which are increasing overall demand for affordable and reliable broadband access. Your feedback is essential to keeping rural broadband expansion projects moving forward across Northwest Pennsylvania and beyond.”

Senate District 25 residents can click here to review and download what PBDA refers to as its draft “Digital Equity Plan.”

The PBDA plans to compile and present these public comments as supporting evidence to secure additional federal funding through the Digital Equity Act, which is intended to ensure that all individuals and communities can experience the benefits of the digital economy.

“Expanding broadband infrastructure is proving to be every bit as critical to our rural communities as our utilities and transportation infrastructure,” said Dush. “Without question, expanded access to high-speed internet service will help retain existing employers and make our region more appealing for future development and job creation. As a result, submitting your input to the Pennsylvania Broadband Development Authority will have an immediate and lasting impact.”     

Public comments can be submitted to the PBDA here.

The final deadline for submissions is Monday, Jan. 8, 2024.

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