HARRISBURG – A more than $530,000 grant has been awarded by the Commonwealth Financing Authority (CFA) for a project to improve broadband access in McKean County, said Sen. Cris Dush (R-25).
Broadband developer SkyPacket Networks Inc. received the $530,248 Unserved High-speed Broadband Funding grant to install two new 120-foot monopole/towers to expand its offering of fixed wireless broadband service in McKean County’s Hamlin, Keating and Sergeant townships. The total project cost is $706,998, with SkyPacket committing $176,750.
“Rural and remote locations in McKean County lack broadband service at a time when reliable internet connectivity has become essential,” said Sen. Dush.
An unserved area is defined as a designated geographic area in which households or businesses do not have access to at least 25 megabits per second (Mbps) downstream speeds and 3 Mbps upstream speeds.
It is estimated the new service, that will offer at least 25 Mbps download/3 Mbps upload with a maximum of 100 Mbps download/20 Mbps upload, will be provided to approximately 212 residential and 4 business structures.
“There are 4 brick and mortar businesses, a few home-based businesses, and numerous properties that are used for various agricultural, forestry, natural gas or utility purposes within the area to be affected by this project,” Sen. Dush explained. “Improved access to high-speed internet service will help retain the jobs at the existing businesses and make the area more appealing for future development.”
“Additionally, the pandemic has shown us the importance of people being able to function from home, whether it be work-related, school-related or just social interaction and entertainment – it all increases the importance of having broadband access,” said Sen. Dush.
The Unserved High-speed Broadband Funding Program was made possible by Act 132 of 2020, formerly Senate Bill 835, and is administered by the CFA. The program provides grants to deploy middle-mile and last-mile high-speed broadband infrastructure to unserved areas in Pennsylvania.
CONTACT: Zack Ankeny