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Rural Broadband Availability, Accessibility and Affordability Public Hearing, Thursday, April 5, 2018, Penn Wells Hotel, Wellsboro PA

The Center for Rural Pennsylvania held a public hearing on rural broadband availability, accessibility and affordability on Thursday, April 5, 2018 at the Penn Wells Hotel in Wellsboro, PA. Center Board Chairman Senator Gene Yaw, along with Board Vice Chairman Rep. Garth Everett, Board Treasurer Rep. Sid Michaels Kavulich, Board Member Steve Brame, Board Member Dr. Stephan Goetz, Board Member Darrin Youker and Center Director Barry Denk, hosted the hearing. President Pro Tempore Senator Joe Scarnati and Rep. Martin Causer also joined the panel.  

The hearing was held to gather information from broadband service providers and consumers about the issues, challenges, and opportunities of delivering broadband services in rural Pennsylvania. 

To view a video of the hearing, click here.
To read testimony submitted at the hearing, click here, and for additional submitted testimony, click here.  

From left: Mr. Youker, Mr. Brame, Mr. Denk, Senator Scarnati, Senator Yaw, Rep. Everett,  Rep. Kavulich, Dr. Goetz and Rep. Causer.
From left: Mr. Youker, Mr. Brame, Mr. Denk, Senator Scarnati, Senator Yaw, Rep. Everett, Rep. Kavulich, Dr. Goetz and Rep. Causer.
Joseph Witmer, Counsel to Chairman Glady Brown of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission.
Joseph Witmer, Counsel to Chairman Glady Brown of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission.

(From left) Mr. Brame, Mr. Denk, Sen. Scarnati, and Sen. Yaw.
(From left) Mr. Brame, Mr. Denk, Sen. Scarnati, and Sen. Yaw.
(From left) Sen. Scarnati, Sen. Yaw, Rep. Everett, and Rep. Kavulich.
(From left) Sen. Scarnati, Sen. Yaw, Rep. Everett, and Rep. Kavulich.

(From left) David Tews, Vice-President of Indigo Wireless and President of Extreme Enterprises, Al Quimby, Corporate Account Executive of PenTeleData and  Thomas Freeman, General Manager of  Blue Ridge Communications.
(From left) David Tews, Vice-President of Indigo Wireless and President of Extreme Enterprises, Al Quimby, Corporate Account Executive of PenTeleData and Thomas Freeman, General Manager of Blue Ridge Communications.
(From left) Anthony Ventello, Executive Director of the Progress Authority, Eric Bridges, Executive Director of North Central PA Regional Planning and Development Commission, Craig Eccher, President & CEO of Tri-County Rural Electric, and Edward Matts, Technology Director of North Central PA Regional Planning and Development Commission.
(From left) Anthony Ventello, Executive Director of the Progress Authority, Eric Bridges, Executive Director of North Central PA Regional Planning and Development Commission, Craig Eccher, President & CEO of Tri-County Rural Electric, and Edward Matts, Technology Director of North Central PA Regional Planning and Development Commission.

(From left) Dr. Robert Gillio, Medical Director for Population Health and Clinical Innovations of JC Blair Memorial Health System, and Timothy E. Schoener, Vice President/CIO of UPMC Susquehanna.
(From left) Dr. Robert Gillio, Medical Director for Population Health and Clinical Innovations of JC Blair Memorial Health System, and Timothy E. Schoener, Vice President/CIO of UPMC Susquehanna.
(From left) Terri Dennison, Executive Director of PA Route 6 Alliance, Lori Copp, Executive Director of Visit Potter-Tioga, and Ed Szymanik, Owner of Susquehannock Lodge.
(From left) Terri Dennison, Executive Director of PA Route 6 Alliance, Lori Copp, Executive Director of Visit Potter-Tioga, and Ed Szymanik, Owner of Susquehannock Lodge.

(From left) Mr. Youker, Mr. Brame, Mr. Denk, Sen. Yaw, Rep. Everett, Rep. Kavulich, Dr. Goetz, and Rep. Causer.
(From left) Mr. Youker, Mr. Brame, Mr. Denk, Sen. Yaw, Rep. Everett, Rep. Kavulich, Dr. Goetz, and Rep. Causer.
(From left) Dr. Brenda Freeman, Superintendent of Wellsboro Area School District and Gerald Port, Owner of Port Farms.
(From left) Dr. Brenda Freeman, Superintendent of Wellsboro Area School District and Gerald Port, Owner of Port Farms.

Mark Smith, Executive Director of Broadband Initiatives, PA Governor’s Office.
Mark Smith, Executive Director of Broadband Initiatives, PA Governor’s Office.
Thank you all who participated and presented testimony.
Thank you all who participated and presented testimony.

 


 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 28, 2018

Rural Broadband Public Hearing Set for April 5 Agenda

Agenda »

HARRISBURG – The Center for Rural Pennsylvania’s Board of Directors, chaired by State Senator Gene Yaw, will hold a public hearing in Wellsboro, Pa., on Thursday, April 5, 2018 to hear from broadband service providers and consumers about the issues, challenges, and opportunities of delivering broadband services in rural Pennsylvania.   

Joining Senator Yaw at the hearing will be Center Board Members Rep. Garth Everett (vice chairman), Rep. Sid Michaels Kavulich (treasurer), Dr. Nancy Falvo of Clarion University (secretary), Stephen Brame, Dr. Stephan Goetz and Darrin Youker. Senator Joe Scarnati will also join the panel.

Confirmed testifiers include representatives from the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, Governor’s Office of Broadband Initiatives, Blue Ridge Cable, Indigo Wireless, PenTeleData, Tri-County Rural Electric, Progress Authority, North Central PA Regional Planning and Development Commission, UPMC Susquehanna, JC Blair Memorial Health System, Wellsboro Area School District, PA Route 6 Alliance, Visit Potter-Tioga, Susquehannock Lodge, and Port Farms.

“Broadband access means so much more than interactive gaming or connecting with your family and friends,” said Sen. Yaw. “Broadband access means connecting with your healthcare provider, completing a classroom assignment, and maintaining and expanding your business.”

According to the Federal Communications Commission’s 2016 Broadband Progress Report, 39 percent of rural Americans (23 million people) lack access to broadband, defined as 25 Mbps/3 Mbps. In Pennsylvania, 29 percent of the population in Tioga County, 39 percent of the population in Bradford County, 30 percent of the population in Potter County, 69 percent of the population in Sullivan County, and 11 percent of the population in Lycoming County do not have access to fixed, advanced telecommunications.

“The Center’s board wants to know more about the challenges and opportunities regarding rural broadband deployment because it impacts such a large part of our everyday lives,” Yaw said. “We know that the geography of rural Pennsylvania and the lack of population are issues that affect the availability, access and cost of broadband, but we have seen that rural Pennsylvania can serve as a testbed for innovation and unique ways of dealing with the challenges of geography and isolation.”

 

The public hearing will be held in the Red Room of the Penn Wells Hotel, 62 Main St., Wellsboro, Pa., 16901 and will begin at 9 AM. Members of the public are invited to attend. 

# # #

The Center for Rural Pennsylvania is a bipartisan, bicameral legislative agency that serves as a resource for rural policy within the Pennsylvania General Assembly. The Center works with the legislature, educators, state and federal executive branch agencies, and national, statewide, regional and local organizations to maximize resources and strategies that can better serve Pennsylvania's nearly 3.5 million rural residents.

CONTACT:
Barry Denk, Director, The Center for Rural Pennsylvania
(717) 787-9555
denkb@rural.palegislature.us


Yaw Announces Rural Broadband Public Hearing

HARRISBURG – State Senator Gene Yaw, Chairman of the Center for Rural Pennsylvania Board of Directors, today announced that the Center will hold a public hearing in Wellsboro, Pa., on Thursday, April 5, 2018 to hear from broadband service providers and consumers about the issues, challenges, and opportunities of delivering broadband services in rural Pennsylvania.   

Joining Senator Yaw at the hearing will be Center Board Members Rep. Garth Everett (vice chairman), Rep. Sid Michaels Kavulich (treasurer), Dr. Nancy Falvo of Clarion University (secretary), Stephen Brame, Dr. Stephan Goetz and Darrin Youker. Senator Joe Scarnati will also join the panel.

“Broadband access means so much more than interactive gaming or connecting with your family and friends,” said Sen. Yaw. “Broadband access means connecting with your healthcare provider, completing a classroom assignment, and maintaining and expanding your business.”

According to the Federal Communications Commission’s 2016 Broadband Progress Report, 39 percent of rural Americans (23 million people) lack access to broadband, defined as 25 Mbps/3 Mbps. In Pennsylvania, 29 percent of the population in Tioga County, 39 percent of the population in Bradford County, 30 percent of the population in Potter County, 69 percent of the population in Sullivan County, and 11 percent of the population in Lycoming County do not have access to fixed, advanced telecommunications.

“The Center’s board wants to know more about the challenges and opportunities regarding rural broadband deployment because it impacts such a large part of our everyday lives,” Yaw said. “We know that the geography of rural Pennsylvania and the lack of population are issues that affect the availability, access and cost of broadband, but we have seen that rural Pennsylvania can serve as a testbed for innovation and unique ways of dealing with the challenges of geography and isolation.”

Confirmed testifiers include representatives from the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, Blue Ridge Cable, Indigo Wireless, Tri-County Rural Electric, Progress Authority–Bradford County, UPMC Susquehanna, JC Blair Memorial Hospital, Wellsboro School District, Local Development Districts, and PA Route 6 Alliance.

The public hearing will be held in the Red Room of the Penn Wells Hotel, 62 Main St., Wellsboro, Pa., 16901 and will begin at 9 AM. Members of the public are invited to attend. 

# # #

The Center for Rural Pennsylvania is a bipartisan, bicameral legislative agency that serves as a resource for rural policy within the Pennsylvania General Assembly. The Center works with the legislature, educators, state and federal executive branch agencies, and national, statewide, regional and local organizations to maximize resources and strategies that can better serve Pennsylvania's nearly 3.5 million rural residents.

CONTACT:
Barry Denk, Director, The Center for Rural Pennsylvania
(717) 787-9555
denkb@rural.palegislature.us