HARRISBURG: The Pennsylvania State Grange issued the following statement after a vote by the General Assembly to pass House Bill 2071 sponsored by Rep. Martin Causer (R-McKean/Potter/Cameron) to establish the PA Broadband Development Authority.
This bill establishes a funded, central authority to co-ordinate actions for gaining access to high-speed Broadband for rural Pennsylvanians. It consolidates efforts to one coordinating entity. This Broadband Authority was a key recommendation of the Joint State Government Commission in their landmark 2019 study of Broadband policy options. Pennsylvania State Grange was chosen as the only rural membership organization to help define those options.
“With the promise of new Federal dollars for Broadband from the Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act, as passed by Congress, and funds from the USDA and the FCC, Pennsylvania needs to use these resources efficiently and equitably to areas without Broadband now.” Pennsylvania State Grange Wayne Campbell said, “The action by the General Assembly indicates legislators recognize this urgency too, as well as the importance of control and oversite being in one location.”
The Grange has been stating for several years that Broadband access is to this century what rural electrification was to the 1900s. The need to act quickly is critical to the needs of many Pennsylvanians.
The Pennsylvania State Grange testified before the House Consumer Affairs Committee on November 10th to urge quick action. House Bill 2071 now goes to governor’s desk for signature.
The Pennsylvania State Grange was founded in 1873 as an advocacy organization to promote the interests of farmers, families, and rural communities in the Commonwealth.