Pennsylvania’s Struggling Rural Broadband Is About To Lose Out On $140 Million

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) is trying to drum up last-minute public support for its petition asking the Federal Communications Commission to reconsider auctioning off $140 million in federal funds that the PUC says is earmarked for rural broadband in Pennsylvania.

With some 800,000 Pennsylvania residents lacking access to high-speed internet — 20 percent of those people in rural areas — the Keystone State might seem like an obvious choice for Connect America Fund money. The fund comes from the federal universal service fee that businesses and residents pay on their telephone bills, and subsidizes telecommunications companies’ new infrastructure and upgrade projects in underserved, mainly rural, communities.

Most of the internet providers in Pennsylvania accepted the CAF money when it was offered two years ago.

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