NTIA Broadband Grant to Include Bedford County
March 3, 2022
In its efforts to expand high-speed internet service to unserved areas, Huntingdon County, in collaboration with Bedford County, Fulton County, Alleghenies Broadband, Inc. (ABI), Upward Broadband, and Crowsnest Broadband, previously submitted a grant application to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) requesting funds through the Broadband Infrastructure Program. The project, Rural Broadband Infrastructure Expansion in the Alleghenies, proposes the construction of new infrastructure to support an expansion of fixed-wireless service to unserved and underserved residents and businesses within the south-central region of Pennsylvania.
The NTIA announced this week that the regional project has been awarded a grant in the amount of $20,463,175. Additionally, the partners have provided a cost-share of $2,273,686 toward the project for a total investment of $22,736,861.
Huntingdon County, along with 12 other recipients, were awarded more than $277 million in funding to expand broadband service to over 133,000 unserved households across the nation.
Congressman John Joyce said, “The decision to award this grant to the Southern Alleghenies Region is fantastic news for the families, farmers, and businesses who call this area home. By connecting more than 7,000 households to reliable, high-speed internet, this project will help our region continue to grow and flourish. I am honored to partner with NTIA to advocate for our area.”
The Rural Broadband Infrastructure Expansion in the Alleghenies will result in the construction of 26 new tower sites and equipment fit-ups to 16 existing tower sites to support reliable, high-speed internet service to over 7,000 unserved households and businesses throughout the region. Many areas in Huntingdon, Bedford, and Fulton counties that are proposed to be served through this project have been previously identified as lacking high-speed broadband service through a needs assessment that was completed in 2020. The study was funded by the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) and has helped guide the decision-making process for improving and expanding broadband connectivity.
“We are elated to be awarded this grant. It will allow completion of Phase II of our master plan and bring connectivity to new areas of Bedford County. Being chosen for this extremely competitive grant speaks to the need and project quality. We are thankful for the work done by ABI to shepherd this application successfully across the finish line,” the Bedford County Commissioners said in a joint statement.
Bedford County will receive the following:
• Six new tower sites and four equipment fit-ups to existing tower sites.
• Proposed service will cover 400 census blocks containing 2,103 households and businesses.