Committed to closing the digital divide in Pennsylvania.

Source: PADCED

Welcome to the Pennsylvania Broadband Development Authority (PBDA) newsletter!  Read on for the latest broadband updates, funding, and news. 

New Website – Check out our new website for easy access to resources tailored to residents, internet service providers (ISPs), and local governments. Now you can stay up-to-date on the latest happenings in real-time. Don’t forget to bookmark it in your favorites,!   

Broadband Activity & Progress  

Statewide Digital Equity Plan
The PBDA Board approved the PBDA’s Digital Equity Plan as required in the Digital Equity Act by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). The plan was submitted to the NTIA and received final approval in March.   

Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD)
NTIA approved Volume I of the BEAD Initial Proposal in February. This volume includes an outline of existing broadband funding, identifies unserved/underserved Broadband Serviceable Locations (BSLs), Community Anchor Institutions (CAIs), and the includes the challenge process for the $1.16 billion in BEAD funding.  We have included more information about the full BEAD Challenge Process on our website, which opened on April 16, 2024.  

Broadband Ready Communities (BBRC)  
We have opened a new program to support our local communities as they get ready for high-speed internet. The BBRC Program streamlines broadband deployment at the municipal level, encouraging broadband infrastructure investment within participating communities. Learn more about the program guidelines, eligibility, and frequently asked questions on our website.   

Workforce Development 
In February, PBDA partnered with the PA Department of Labor & Industry for our second webinar on the PA Prevailing Wage Process. The webinar focused on the tools and support needed for successful execution of BEAD-funded projects. This presentation gave an overview into the details of the PA Prevailing Wage Process, covering how to apply, implement, and use prevailing wage rates. The recorded webinar can be found on our Educational Webinars webpage.   

Mapping Updates 
PBDA submitted a fabric challenge to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) National Broadband Map, resulting in more than 8,800 added BSLs and more than 115,000 address corrections.   

Webinars & Events

Funding Programs

CPF – Broadband Infrastructure Program (BIP) 
This $205 million competitive grant program was designed to target locations that do not currently have access to 25/3 Mbps reliable service. The program will fund extensions of existing last-mile cable modem and fiber-to-the-premise broadband networks, as well as large-scale regional projects that can transform broadband availability by serving large numbers of eligible addresses.   Applications were accepted through August 9, 2023 with awards announced on April 18, 2024.    

CPF – Multi-Purpose Community Facilities Program (Facilities)
The Facilities Program will offer $45 million in competitive grants to community anchor institutions and units of local government for community projects to construct, acquire, or improve facilities that are, or will be open to the public and will directly enable work, education, and health monitoring at the respective facility. Applications were accepted through April 20, 2024, and are under review.    

CPF – Digital Connectivity Technology Program  
Coming soon! We are working on guidelines for this new program and will be sure to include it in future communications. Keep an eye on your inbox!

If you have questions about closing the digital divide in Pennsylvania, email the PA Broadband Development Authority or connect with us by phone at 1.866.466.3972.