High-speed internet connectivity remains priority for many Pennsylvanians
HARRISBURG – Senate President Pro Tempore Jake Corman (R-Centre/Huntingdon/Juniata/Mifflin) reappointed Senator Kristin Phillips-Hill (R-York) today to serve as the Chair of the Senate Communications and Technology Committee.
Phillips-Hill, who served as the majority chair of the committee during the 2019-2020 session, said her reappointment offers an opportunity to continue working on major efforts to expand the availability of high-speed broadband to close the state’s digital divide.
Phillips-Hill said that the committee plans to continue their deliberative approach to the issue, similar to last session in which several hearings were held prior to votes on broadband issues. The committee’s work led to the enactment of Act 132 of 2020, which created the Unserved High-Speed Broadband Funding Program to improve access to high-speed broadband internet in rural areas. The committee also led the effort to approve legislation, now law, to remove outdated regulatory roadblocks to further deploy high-speed internet.
“Our four public hearings on improving access to high-speed internet access allowed the committee to better understand the pressing needs of underserved communities and how state policy could provide a solution,” Phillips-Hill said. “Those hearings led to action, and those initiatives will lead to high-speed internet in more homes and businesses in Pennsylvania.”
The committee also plans to look at other issues confronting the commonwealth, including ransomware, cybersecurity and strengthening the state’s IT systems in light of ongoing efforts to hack governments at all levels.
“The committee cannot sit back and wait for a crisis to hit Pennsylvania. We need to remain vigilant and proactive to work in a bipartisan way to protect the digital assets of the Commonwealth and the personal information of Pennsylvanians. We have seen that inaction can lead to major costs incurred by taxpayers. It is our goal to ensure that never happens here in Pennsylvania,” she added.
Senator Kristin Phillips-Hill (R-York) will chair the Senate Communications and Technology Committee for the 2021-22 legislative session. Phillips-Hill is pictured chairing a public roundtable with the Federal Communications Commission at the state Capitol in October of 2020.