“In today’s world, having access to high-speed internet is a necessity.”
That’s the message behind the Pennsylvania Broadband Development Authority’s “listening sessions” being held across the Commonwealth this week.
One of those eight sessions was held Tuesday afternoon at the Glencoe United Church of Christ in Fairhope.
PBDA officials are trying to bridge the digital divide between big cities and rural communities.
At the session Tuesday, they highlighted the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Broadband Access Map.
This map shows all locations across the United States where fixed broadband internet access service is or can be installed.
Somerset County residents were reminded of their role of making sure that their information is being accurately displayed on this map.
Officials say the map’s accuracy is crucial for Pennsylvania to receive federal funding to ensure high-speed internet access for all.
“We’re encouraging folks to check the information that’s been reported for their address on the national map to ensure that the data that’s been reported is accurate. Why is that important? That is dictating the amount of federal funding that Pennsylvania will receive for broadband expansion,”
Carson says broadband is important for school, work, and public safety in the digital age.
He also says that we can’t leave small towns behind.
Pennsylvania State Representative Carl Walker Metzgar told 6 News about his reasoning for hosting this discussion in a local rural area.
“It was my choice to have it here, because I think we need to bring awareness. The people in rural Pennsylvania are the ones that we are trying to proliferate broadband for. It’s sort of a way of life now. I think we have to have it. Whether it’s from a technological standpoint or an economic standpoint. It drives us and it’s an essential item,”