Jun. 10, 2020

HARRISBURG – The state House has approved Rep. Clint Owlett’s (R-Tioga/Bradford/Potter) legislation to boost broadband access across rural Pennsylvania.

“This is an important step forward in our mission to get reliable, high-speed internet service to the people of rural Pennsylvania,” Owlett said. “The COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on our schools, businesses and health care system has shone a light on just how badly our students, families, business owners and medical providers need broadband service, and they need it as soon as possible.”

House Bill 2438 aims to help expedite the process and control costs by allowing rural electric cooperatives to deploy broadband service under their existing easements. The bill also authorizes cooperatives to allow other providers to access their easements. Finally, if a cooperative chooses to use an easement for broadband services, other providers would automatically have the right to use the easement for broadband purposes as well.

“The bottom line is our rural communities can’t afford to wait any longer for this vital service,” Owlett said. “I appreciate the great work our electric cooperatives and other providers have done thus far and believe this bill would help these organizations further expand their service to even our most rural residents.”

The bill now goes to the Senate.

Representative Clint Owlett
68th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives