Stuck on slow, Pennsylvania renews push for rural broadband - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Stuck on slow, Pennsylvania renews push for rural broadband

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By MICHAEL RUBINKAM
Associated Press

State officials in Pennsylvania are renewing their push to capture $140 million in federal subsidies for rural broadband internet, a windfall that could go to another state after Verizon declined it two years ago.

The Federal Communications Commission plans to distribute the rejected funds through an upcoming nationwide auction. State officials are trying to head off the move through public advocacy and a pending FCC petition.

Residents in sparsely populated areas say it's next to impossible to stream TV shows, telecommute, do videoconferencing or consistently access their cloud-based email. The FCC says about 800,000 Pennsylvania residents lack access to high-speed internet access, including one in five people living in rural areas.

Pennsylvania Public Utility Commissioner David Sweet says state officials are "deeply concerned" about the possible loss of the FCC funding.

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