Biden-Harris Administration Announces Tens of Millions of Dollars to Help Close the Digital Divide in Pennsylvania as Part of President Biden’s Investing in America Agenda

American Rescue Plan funding, administered by the Treasury Department, builds off of previous announcement of nearly $245 million for broadband infrastructure projects and multi-purpose community facilities in Pennsylvania

PHILADELPHIA, PA – Today, the Biden-Harris Administration announced the approval of $20 million for digital connectivity projects in Pennsylvania under the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Capital Projects Fund (CPF), part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda. Today’s award will fund Pennsylvania’s Digital Access Opportunity Grant program, through which the commonwealth will partner with community anchor institutions (CAIs) to increase access to laptops, tablets, desktop computers, and Wi-Fi devices to individuals in Pennsylvania. Devices will be available for use in home or public spaces, such as schools and libraries, through loan programs from CAIs. CAIs will also offer digital literacy training. Pennsylvania estimates this program will benefit approximately 12,000 individuals annually. 

“Projects that address gaps in internet access and affordability are critical to meeting the Biden-Harris Administration’s goal of expanding economic opportunity in communities across the country,” said Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Wally Adeyemo. “By funding the Digital Access Opportunity Grant program, these American Rescue Plan resources will help close the digital divide in the commonwealth and connect thousands of Pennsylvanians to workforce, education, and health care services they need to live prosperous and healthy lives.”

“As our world becomes more digital, closing the digital divide in our communities is more important than ever. Pennsylvania’s economic future depends on reliable high-speed internet access for every community—rural, urban, and everything in between,” said Senator Bob Casey (D-PA). “This funding won’t just provide more laptops and wi-fi devices to people who need them, it will help break down the barrier that’s keeping a young mother from a higher education, a small business from reaching a new market, and a grandparent from staying in touch with their grandkids.”  

“High-speed internet access is no longer a luxury – it’s a necessity,” said Senator John Fetterman (D-PA). “This $20 million for Digital Connectivity Technology projects will bring Pennsylvanians access to critical devices that help them run a business, get an education, visit the doctor, and so much more.”

“This funding will help level the digital playing field for more than 12,000 Pennsylvania residents—many of whom reside in my district,” said Congressman Brendan F. Boyle (PA-02). “The American Rescue Plan– that I voted for—is the catalyst propelling this major stride toward bridging the digital divide for Pennsylvanians needing to access essential technology who would otherwise be left behind. Each dollar invested here will serve to empower those individuals with the tools they need to thrive in our increasingly interconnected world.”

“I was proud to vote for President Biden’s American Rescue Plan and am pleased to see it delivering again for Pennsylvania,” said Representative Dwight Evans (PA-03).

“In this digital age, Pennsylvanians need to be connected to find job opportunities, access telehealth services, do their homework, and save time and transportation costs.” said Representative Scanlon (PA-05). “I’m pleased to see the Biden Administration’s Investing in America Agenda continue to help close the digital divide so that all our families have access to the critical services they need to thrive.”

“In today’s digital economy, reliable broadband is not a luxury. It is a necessity,” said Representative Chrissy Houlahan (PA-06). “I am grateful for the Biden Administration’s recognition of the need we have in our Commonwealth for greater internet access and proud that the American Rescue Plan funding I voted for continues to benefit thousands of Pennsylvanian families and businesses.”

“I am thrilled that this grant will provide Pennsylvanians with the opportunity to access affordable, reliable internet and devices like laptops and tablets,” said Representative Susan Wild (PA-07). “Tens of thousands of Pennsylvanians – including many in my own district – rely on internet connectivity and computers in their everyday lives, and I will always advocate for closing the gap in technology affordability to make sure everyone in our community has the tools they need to succeed.”

“I am proud to announce Pennsylvania is getting even more federal investments to help connect thousands of residents to the internet,” said Representative Chris Deluzio (PA-17). “High-speed internet service should not be a luxury—it’s a necessity. With better and cheaper broadband in in our region thanks to funding like this, we can get folks connected, attract new industries, support our students, and help small businesses grow and thrive.”

The American Rescue Plan’s Capital Projects Fund provides a total of $10 billion to states, territories, freely associated states, and Tribal governments to fund critical capital projects that expand economic opportunities and provide internet connectivity in communities with unmet needs. Through high-speed internet, multi-purpose community facilities, and digital technology investments such as the one being announced today, CPF funding is both closing the digital divide and bringing workforce, education, and health care services to communities in need.

Today’s announcement is in addition to last year’s award of $200 million in CPF funding for high-speed internet projects in Pennsylvania, which the commonwealth estimates will connect approximately 44,000 homes and businesses to affordable, high-speed internet, and $45 million for multi-purpose community facilities. To date nationwide, CPF has awarded more than $9.2 billion for broadband, digital technology, and multi-purpose community center projects in all states and the District of Columbia, which these states estimate will reach over two million locations with expanded internet access, in addition to the hundreds of thousands of individuals who will be served annually by multi-purpose community facilities.

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Official news published at https://home.treasury.gov/news/press-releases/jy2146