Arguing that statewide broadband access is needed to increase educational opportunities, Gov. Tom Wolf announced an infrastructure initiative on Friday called “Restore Pennsylvania.”
The plan calls for an investment of $4.5 billion dollars over the next four years to expand broadband access to all Pennsylvanians.
Nearly a million Pennsylvania residents currently lack access to reliable, high-speed internet, according to figures provided by the governor’s media office.
“For Pennsylvanians to succeed we must close the digital divide to ensure every citizen has the access it needs to connect to the ever-expanding digital world in which we live and work,” said Wolf. “Our students, parents, and teachers deserve better, and we can provide that through ‘Restore Pennsylvania.’”
The governor says the initiative will be funded by the monetization of a “commonsense” severance tax and address several priority infrastructure areas including high speed internet access, storm preparedness and disaster recovery, downstream manufacturing, business development and energy infrastructure.
The goal is to completely bridge the digital divide and the governor says funding will support every phase of the process from feasibility testing to connection.