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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: November 21, 2017 10:33 AM
From: Representative Pam Snyder
To: All House members
Subject: Resolution Urging the Federal Communication Commission to Give Favorable Consideration to a Joint Petition Filed by Pennsylvania to Increase Access to High Speed Internet Service in Certain Areas of the Commonwealth
In the near future, I plan to introduce a resolution urging the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to favorably consider the joint petition filed by the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PA PUC) and the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (PA DCED) in order to increase access to high speed internet service in underserved areas of Pennsylvania.

Earlier this year, the PA PUC and DCED filed a joint petition with the FCC as part of an ongoing effort to address Pennsylvania’s “digital divide”. The petition seeks to preserve millions of dollars in federal funding earmarked for Pennsylvania under the Connect America Fund (CAF Phase II) program. Funding for CAF II is drawn from the federal universal service surcharges paid by state residents and businesses. It is intended to support the deployment of broadband service in high-cost areas, including many rural communities.

Most incumbent local telephone companies serving Pennsylvania’s high-cost areas accepted the CAF II funding, along with a commitment to meet federal benchmarks for broadband speed (currently 10 Mbps download & 1 Mbps upload), however Verizon companies did not. As a result, consumers are at risk of losing the full and current federal public support to receive modern broadband services because of a private business decision.

I hope you will join me as a co-sponsor of this resolution in support of preserving those dollars and closing the gap between Pennsylvania communities and business that have access to higher broadband speeds and those that do not.

Introduced as HR630