Argall, Baker, Culver, Flynn Announce $4.3 Million in Grants to Expand Access to High-Speed Internet in Luzerne County

HARRISBURG – State Sens. Dave Argall (R-29), Lisa Baker (R-20), Lynda Schlegel Culver (R-27) and Marty Flynn (D-22) today announced the Pennsylvania Broadband Development Authority (PBDA) is awarding more than $4.3 million in grants to expand access to reliable, high-speed internet in Luzerne County.

“Investments in broadband in rural communities create an endless number of possibilities for Pennsylvania residents,” Culver said. “This investment will help residents access vital resources that were previously unavailable because of poor connections or the lack of options in their area. Everyone, from family farms to the local health care facilities and school districts, can benefit from this investment in broadband internet.”

The grant money originated through the federally funded Broadband Infrastructure Program. PBDA awarded $200 million in competitive grants for projects in communities lacking 25/3 Mbps internet service.

“High-speed internet is no longer a luxury. It is a necessity for students at all levels, employees who work remotely, patients who rely on telemedicine to communicate with their doctor and more,” Argall said. “Everyone who worked to make this a reality for the most underserved areas of Luzerne County deserves congratulations.”

PBDA ensures transparency and efficiency by mandating quarterly and annual progress reports from grantees. It provides comprehensive guidance on state and federal requirements and technical support. All funds must be used by Dec. 31, 2026. Grantees will be held accountable for the prudent expenditure of awarded funds. The PBDA can claw back any unused or misused funds.

“Money for expanded and enhanced internet access is a key component of every economic development strategy, affecting communities large and small,” Baker said. “It is especially crucial in helping rural areas remain competitive for jobs. This helps businesses, institutions, educators, workers and at-home entrepreneurs. Wherever I go across the region, this funding has been a prominent request from officials and residents. Even this downpayment on meeting a range of needs will be a difference maker. We are relying on the companies to utilize the funding in ways that will provide the greatest benefit across the customer base.”

This inaugural round of grants represents a significant milestone in the PBDA’s broader initiative to close the digital divide since the General Assembly established the PBDA in 2021.

“This investment is a critical step toward bridging the digital divide,” Flynn said. “Access to high-speed internet is essential for education, healthcare, business and everyday life. These funds will empower our constituents and strengthen our local economy.”

Argall Media Contact: James Brugger

Baker Media Contact: Jennifer Wilson

Culver Media Contact: Betsy Reichenbach

Flynn Media Contact: Ryan Adcroft

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