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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: December 7, 2018 03:01 PM
From: Senator Kristin Phillips-Hill
To: All Senate members
Subject: Bringing High-Speed Broadband Internet Access to all Commonwealth Residents
In the near future I plan to re-introduce a legislative package from last session to expand the availability of high-speed broadband internet service in underserved and unserved areas of the Commonwealth. In these locations one can often arrive at schools 30 minutes before the start of the school day and observe parents in their idling cars while their children feverishly work to complete their computer homework assignments using the school Wi-Fi because high-speed broadband internet is unavailable in their residential areas. Despite the passage of Act 67 of 1993 and Act 183 of 2004 to ensure all areas of the Commonwealth would be provided with a modern broadband telecommunications network by 2015, frustratingly this goal remains unmet. Please join me in co-sponsoring this important legislation.

Document #1

Introduced as SR47

Description: Resolution to Establish a Bipartisan/Bicameral Legislative Commission (previously House Resolution 429)
This Resolution will establish a special bipartisan, bicameral legislative commission to recommend improvements to the deployment of high-speed broadband services in unserved and underserved areas.

Document #2

Introduced as SR48

Description: Resolution to Investigate Compliance of Non-Rural Telecommunications Carriers with Act 67 of 1993 and Act 183 of 2004 (previously House Resolution 430)
This resolution directs the Joint State Government Commission to conduct an in-depth investigation and audit into the compliance of non-rural telecommunication carriers with these Acts, and to report findings and recommendations to the Legislature.

Document #3

Introduced as SB470

Description: Inventory of State Communications Assets and Develop Leasing Plans (previously House Bill 1642)
Directs the Department of General Services (DGS) to conduct an inventory of all state department, agency, commission or institution owned communication towers, poles, buildings, and facilities to leverage existing state-owned assets for the provisioning of high-speed broadband internet to unserved and underserved areas. According to a recent Penn State report, there are a staggering 11 million people across the state without access to high-speed broadband. Additionally, in nearly 95% of Pennsylvania’s land area, less than half the population actually receives high-speed broadband. These numbers indicate that only a small fraction of the state actually has broadband access that meets the definition set by the Federal Communications Commission (25 Mbps and upload speeds of 3 Mbps). The issue of access is much larger than we originally thought and this bill takes necessary steps to address the growing need of providing and ensuring access to all Pennsylvanians.