Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Coal Region Canary
Coal Region CanaryCoal Region Canary

Local News

Schuylkill Commissioners Want to Improve the Internet … Their OWN Internet

Money is slated to come from the American Rescue Plan funds.

Schuylkill County Commissioners will consider a purchase Wednesday that will upgrade internet connectivity in one part of the area. That area includes the Courthouse and other County properties.

The board will consider a $303,0941.73 purchase that includes “equipment, licenses, and services to update the network infrastructure and expand wireless coverage in the Courthouse and other County buildings.”

Included in the purchase price are “switches, wireless access points, cabling, licenses, and installation services,” according to the Commissioners meeting Agenda for Feb. 23.

To pay for this project, the County plans to use some of its American Rescue Plan funding. No contractors or suppliers are made public on the meeting Agenda.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Their Needs Before Yours? Schuylkill Commissioners Want to Spend $300K+ on Courthouse Internet Upgrade

It’s fascinating that the Commissioners would even consider such an upgrade to the internet connectivity at the Courthouse and other County properties, especially right now. We’re guessing this project to upgrade the connection is more important than the public’s.

Now, the Commissioners can more quickly read the emails from angry disconnected constituents who can’t send them.

Over the last 2 years, we’ve learned just how many people have limited or zero connection to a broadband connection in Schuylkill County. And while the Commissioners have done a good job of dangling a carrot in front of those folks who don’t have a worthy internet connection with their so-called “broadband project”, they’ve done an equally good job of pulling the carrot back.

Talk of the so-called “broadband project” started back in 2020 when the Commissioners were divvying up the CARES Act federal funding. That money was supposed to go, in part, to support public projects that would help in some way, even loosely, to the government’s COVID pandemic response.

Some counties in Pennsylvania used some of that CARES Act funding to bring wireless broadband service to rural areas. Many used a technology called fixed wireless internet and had disconnected residents hooked up before the end of that year.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

At that time, the “broadband project” was some potential down-the-road idea that was floated to the public as the Commissioners were looking for support of a multi-million dollar upgrade to the County 9-1-1 system.

In 2020, the County purchased a firewall device it said was necessary to upgrade the internet connectivity. But again, that was their own internet.

There wasn’t a lot of movement on a “broadband project” in 2021 but during a recent public argument between Commissioners Boots Hetherington and George Halcovage, the alleged project did come up. Hetherington was arguing for more money for farmland preservation. Halcovage called that a pet project of Hetherington and in the back-and-forth, the chairman said arguing for more money for the “broadband project” indicated it was a pet project of Halcovage.

So, could that mean a “broadband project” will be announced soon by the Commissioners? Perhaps. But not until they upgrade their own internet, first.


Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Subscribe to Coal Region Canary

Get email updates from Coal Region Canary by becoming a subscriber today. Just enter your email address below to get started!

News Tips?

Let us know of news happening in your area. Use our NEWS TIPS ENTRY FORM
1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. PTFloridians

    February 23, 2022 at 8:09 am

    Drunken sailors spending monies so selfishly, deceitfully and irresponsibly. The “broadband project” will be obsolete in a few years, hence another reason to “upgrade”…it’s an endless loop of poor decision making.
    All these inept, irresponsible dunces ignore the people and businesses that voted them in while serving their own interests. There’s a few good ones, but this behavior is more and more common.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More From The Canary

Obituaries Index

The latest obituaries from the Schuylkill County coal region for June 6, 2023.

Local News

State Police bomb squad called in

Local Sports

Early 7-2 odds on the Pine Grove-bred horse

Local News

Investigation ongoing, police say

Schuylkill County Man

Victim told police the bear made her "see stars"

Local Weather

Windy, dry conditions

Canary Jumped the Shark

What's the deal with June 31st?

Local Weather

A smoky day ahead

Schuylkill County Police News

Incident happened on May 27

Local News

Opposing Republicans present strong argument on 'No' vote

Local News

Bridge repair over Swatara Creek begins Monday.