Wolf signs broadband bill co-sponsored by Snyder

H.B. 2071 will create PA Broadband Development Authority

HARRISBURG, Dec. 22 — After it passed the House and Senate without a single negative vote, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf on Wednesday afternoon signed into law H.B. 2071, a bill co-sponsored by Rep. Pam Snyder to expand broadband internet in the state.

“The people of Pennsylvania have been lacking equitable and accessible broadband for years. In today’s world, fast and affordable broadband is vital to completing everyday tasks. Learning, paying bills, visiting the doctor, accessing entertainment — all need reliable internet. The General Assembly came together in a unanimous bipartisan way to give the people what they need,” Snyder said.

House Bill 2071 will create the Pennsylvania Broadband Development Authority, the first official broadband entity in state history. The Broadband Development Authority will consist of an 11-member governing authority board, charged with creating a statewide broadband plan and distributing grant money for broadband expansion projects in underserved areas of the commonwealth.

The passage and signing of this legislation set Pennsylvania up to receive important federal funding. The commonwealth is expected to receive $100 million through a broadband access program created by the recently passed federal infrastructure bill, with the opportunity to receive additional funding. Without this bill, Pennsylvania could lose out on that funding.

“Now that the governor has signed this bill into law, the Broadband Development Authority can be immediately assembled and get to work to help our residents who need broadband the most. It also helps us secure that federal funding that will help pay for broadband deployment,” Snyder said. “I’m thankful for my colleagues and the governor for getting this done before the end of the year.”

Snyder has been a champion of expanding access to broadband in all areas of Pennsylvania since her election to the 50th Legislative District in 2012.