HARRISBURG – Aiming to keep momentum rolling to improve access to high-speed internet, Senator Kristin Phillips-Hill (R-York) announced the formation of the bicameral Broadband Caucus in the General Assembly.
“I’ve heard from many individuals in southern York County with challenges accessing high-speed internet,” Phillips-Hill said. “The goal of this joint Senate and House caucus is to ensure the issue does not get lost in the shuffle in Harrisburg and that we keep a focus on what needs to be done to make Pennsylvania more competitive and a more desirable place to live, work and raise a family.”
Phillips-Hill will co-chair the caucus with Rep. Pam Snyder (D-Washington). Both Phillips-Hill and Snyder co-chaired the caucus last session when it was solely the House Broadband Caucus.
While the caucus cannot officially vote on any measures, the co-chairs said it’s the ongoing advocacy that landed Pennsylvania an opportunity for major private sector investment to build out capacity to bring high-speed internet to new areas in the Commonwealth.
Phillips-Hill said a Penn State study that shows the number of Pennsylvanians without access to high-speed internet is a cause for major concern. She cited a recent study showing over 11 million Pennsylvanians lack access to high-speed broadband. The original estimate was around 700,000.
“With a competitive landscape nationwide that is fighting to attract employers, employees, and the infrastructure that supports that, like schools, hospitals, and other critical services, we need to ensure we are not widening the digital divide that exists,” Phillips-Hill said. “The latest statistics should be a rallying cry that the bulk of Pennsylvania is getting left behind.”
“Hopefully our findings will help close the digital divide in Pennsylvania,” she added.
You can listen to Senator Phillips-Hill’s comments about forming the Broadband Caucus here.