Merski, Harkins: Nearly $2.6 million will bring high-speed broadband access to more Erie residents, businesses

ERIE, Dec. 10 – Nearly 3,100 Erie residents and business owners will gain access to high-speed internet, thanks to nearly $2.59 million in funding from the Federal Communications Commission awarded to companies serving the region, state Reps. Pat Harkins and Bob Merski announced.

The Erie lawmakers said the funding will bring long-awaited access to many of the region’s underserved residents.

“Internet is nearly as critical as power and light these days, yet high-speed, reliable access is still not universally available to families throughout our region,” Merski said. “The ability to connect to the outside world should never depend on a resident’s ZIP code, but unfortunately, that has been the reality for many low-income households. This funding has the prospect of finally leveling the playing field for many area families.”

Harkins said: “With the pandemic limiting outings and restricting so many life activities, residents are depending more than ever on the internet – for shopping, working, checking in with relatives, and more. A reliable, high-speed connection is no longer a luxury – it’s a necessity. But for far too long, underserved families in our region have lacked access. The funding announced today is terrific news because it is a step toward leveling the playing field and ensuring all households – regardless of location – have the access they need.”

The lawmakers said the funding, which will provide access to 3,099 homes and businesses in the area, includes the following:

  • $2.15 million to CCO Holdings LLC (Charter Communications) for service to 2,772 locations.
  • $258,089 to Windstream Services LLC for service to 120 locations.
  • $172,222 to Space Exploration Technologies Corp. for service to 207 locations.

The funding is part of a package of more than $368 million in auction funding awarded statewide by the FCC.

More information about the funding is available