Local legislators announce investment to improve access to high-speed internet in Bradford County

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HARRISBURG — The Pennsylvania Broadband Development Authority (PBDA) announced last week that Claverack Rural Electric Cooperative is being awarded nearly $4.8 million to increase access to reliable, high-speed internet, according to Sen. Gene Yaw (R-23), Rep. Clint Owlett (R-68), and Rep. Tina Pickett (R-110).

“This funding demonstrates the state’s commitment to delivering equitable broadband service across the Commonwealth,” said Sen. Yaw, who also serves as board chairman for the Center for Rural Pennsylvania. “Research shows both rural and urban residents lack access to reliable broadband, despite being willing to pay for it. These grants will ensure our communities can have highspeed internet at a reasonable price and close the longstanding digital divide that has stifled educational opportunities and economic growth for far too long.”

“This is great news for our citizens, business owners, schools, medical facilities, and other organizations that have long awaited the many benefits provided by having high-speed internet access,” Rep. Owlett said. “It is always encouraging to see investments like these being made in our rural communities to better connect us to each other and people across the Commonwealth and beyond.”

“After years of waiting, broadband service will soon be a reality for customers in unserved and underserved areas of Bradford County through this program,” Rep. Pickett said. “We all know how critical the internet is in our daily lives, and I am so pleased to see that reliable, high-speed broadband service is finally coming to more communities in the Northern Tier.”

Made feasible by the federally-funded Broadband Infrastructure Program, a total of $200 million in competitive grants was awarded for projects across the state lacking 25/3 Mbps internet service, as highlighted by the legislators.

“We are grateful to have received this grant funding, which enables us to address the needs of hundreds of underserved and unserved homes in Bradford County,” said Kyle Lane, Director of Broadband Operations at Claverack Communications. “With our partners in Wilmont Township, along with the support of State Senator Gene Yaw, Congressman Dan Meuser III, State Representative Tina Pickett, State Representative Clint Owlett, the Bradford County Commissioners, and Bradford County Planning, we are proud to be part of Pennsylvania’s effort to bring high-speed fiber internet to rural areas.”

“Claverack Communications is committed to ensuring that all of our unserved and underserved members can access high-speed, reliable, and affordable broadband,” said Steve Allabaugh, President & CEO of Claverack Rural Electric Cooperative and Claverack Communications. “With this grant funding, we are pleased to announce that we will be able to further that mission by bringing fiber to the home service to over 1,000 homes in Bradford County that are currently underserved or unserved.”

In an effort to ensure transparency and efficiency, the PBDA mandates quarterly and annual progress reports from grantees, accompanied by comprehensive guidance on state and federal requirements and technical support. All funds must be utilized by Dec. 31, 2026. Grantees will be held accountable for the prudent expenditure of awarded funds. The PBDA has the ability to claw back any unused or misused funds.

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.

For more state-related news and information, constituents can visit Sen.Yaw’s website at www.SenatorGeneYaw.com, Rep. Owlett’s website at www.RepOwlett.com, and Rep. Pickett’s website at www.RepPickett.com.