Snyder announces passage of broadband bill

HARRISBURG, June 20 – A bill to direct the state to take inventory of communications assets with the goal of providing broadband access to areas of the commonwealth without reliable service passed unanimously in the House today, state Rep. Pam Snyder, D-Greene/Fayette/Washington announced.

“All Pennsylvanians, whether they live in an urban or rural area, should have access to reliable and affordable broadband service. It will allow more of our residents to have access to telemedicine, to take online courses, and to help our agriculture sector better compete,” Snyder said. “I’ve been advocating for expanded broadband service for three years, and I am pleased that House Bill 305 is moving forward."

The bill would require the state Department of General Services to conduct a thorough inventory of all state department, agency, commission or institution-owned communication towers, poles, bridges and facilities to leverage existing assets to provide access to areas without broadband service.

Snyder said two additional measures related to broadband access are pending further action. House Resolution 63, which would direct the Joint State Government Commission to conduct an audit of – and investigation into – the compliance by non-rural telecommunications carriers with previously enacted broadband telecommunications laws, is in the Consumer Affairs Committee. House Resolution 64, which would establish a bipartisan, bicameral commission to provide recommendations to deploy broadband services, is being considered in the State Government Committee.

House Bill 305 now heads to the state Senate for consideration.