The FCC has authorized $2,642,413 in funding over 10 years to expand broadband in rural northwestern Pennsylvania. Armstrong Telecommunications has committed to providing broadband at speeds of at least 1 Gbps downstream and 500 Mbps upstream to an estimated 1,949 unserved rural homes and businesses in Crawford, Erie, and Mercer counties. The announcement brings the total Connect America Fund Phase II auction support for Pennsylvania to $36,655,925 for 9,673 locations.
"Getting gigabit-speed broadband to rural communities in northwestern Pennsylvania will make a real difference in the region," said FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. "Nearly 2,000 rural homes and businesses that don't currently have broadband service will get connected to some of the highest speed Internet available through this support. I'm glad the FCC can help bridge the digital divide in rural Pennsylvania, and we look forward to continuing to find ways to make a difference in these communities."
Broadband providers in Pennsylvania that receive funding through the FCC's Connect America Fund must build out to 40% of the assigned homes and businesses within three years. Buildout must increase by 20% in each subsequent year, until complete buildout is reached at the end of the sixth year.
In total, the 2018 Connect America Fund auction allocated $1.488 billion in support over the next 10 years to expand broadband to more than 700,000 unserved rural homes and small businesses in 45 states. The FCC has now authorized 11 waves of funding with more than $1.4 billion authorized thus far. Funding rounds will continue until the authorization process is complete.