BEDFORD COUNTY, Pa (WTAJ) — Congressman John Joyce (R-PA) visited Bedford County Thursday to discuss expanding broadband internet in the area.
Joyce, along with a roundtable of Bedford County leaders and the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) Commissioner, Brendan Carr, spoke about ways to do so, including visiting a nearby tower. The tower had recently expanded internet services to about 200 homes, which could help continue to attract more people into the area.
“This is a beautiful part of the country,” Carr said. “People want to live here, and if the high-speed internet connectivity is available, they can come here, they can stay here, they can get a good-paying job virtually anywhere in the country. But we have to have a high-speed internet connection to do that.”
Joyce and Carr said there’s a five-year plan in the works that will roll out both state and federal funds to expand coverage through the county. The five-year plan will allow to ease the financial cost of expanding the internet in the area. It will roll out using both state and federal funds to expand coverage throughout the county.
Carr said that putting up new antennas can help deliver high-speed service to those who currently are not getting internet services, but it’s costly.
“There’s still too many parts of this area that has zero megabit-per seconds, basically no internet service at all,” Carr said.
With the cost being pricey, this is where Joyce is stepping in, as he wants to make sure he can bring reliable internet to more homes in the district. He also reiterated how increasing internet availability will allow people to do more from home.
“We need to be able to be connected to learn from home, to work from home, to heal from home, to utilize the skills we have right here in Southcentral Pennsylvania,” Joyce said.
Joyce also said coverage maps will be available in the next few months to determine what regions need service the most.