Schweyer applauds final passage of broadband expansion bill

HARRISBURG, Dec. 15 – Continuing his efforts to bring affordable high-speed internet access to the city of Allentown, state Rep. Peter Schweyer voted for legislation that would result in greater expansion of broadband internet service across Pennsylvania.

“Just as access to electricity or running water should not depend on your ZIP code, neither should access to the internet,” said Schweyer, D-Lehigh. “The people who live in communities who have little to no internet access or significantly slower connections deserve this investment. Every Pennsylvanian will be able to access work and education from their homes. Because of this bill, these individuals will be able to have remote doctor appointments, pay bills online, stay connected with loved ones and build a better future.”

House Bill 2071 would establish the Pennsylvania Broadband Development Authority to facilitate funds anticipated through a federal infrastructure bill recently approved by Congress. Pennsylvania is expected to receive at least $100 million with the potential to obtain more after the authority develops a statewide plan for broadband expansion.

The final version of the bill unanimously passed the full House and now heads to the governor, who is expected to sign it.

Schweyer previously co-sponsored H.B. 1621, which was signed by Governor Wolf over the summer as Act 50 of 2021 and expanded access to 5G technology across the commonwealth. Also, during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Schweyer spearheaded the acquisition of 3,000 mobile hotspots for the Allentown School District so students did not have interruptions to their education under virtual learning and instruction.