Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Coal Region Canary
Coal Region CanaryCoal Region Canary

Schuylkill County News

Broadband Task Force Backs Comcast App for Schuylkill County Expansion

Who died and made the Chamber the boss of internet expansion in Schuylkill County?

Schuylkill County’s Broadband Task Force announced Friday – a day after we reported on 3 years of inactivity on a so-called Broadband Project – that Comcast “will receive a Letter of Support from the Schuylkill County Broadband Task Force for its grant submittal for the COVID-19 ARPA Broadband Infrastructure Program.”

Never mind the fortuitous timing of this announcement. What does this mean to you?

Basically, it means that those who have limited or no broadband internet access in Schuylkill County will have to pin their hopes on Comcast submitting a successful grant application to the state for some of the $279 million available across Pennsylvania for broadband expansion.

Then, those who are struggling with poor internet access here will have to wait until Comcast’s grant application is approved, the money is received and the company implements whatever plan it’s devised for expanding in Schuylkill County.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

The Broadband Task Force, via Schuylkill Chamber of Commerce, says in a release from Friday that “eligible projects for the grant include either line extension and development or large-scale regional infrastructure” and that successful applications for the grant money should get endorsements like the BTF is giving to Comcast.

Putting All Our Broadband Expansion Eggs in One Basket

That announcement from the task force also indicates that it has been “vetting” internet providers here before deciding which, if any, applications to back for the grant program.

So, it’s pretty clear that other ISPs were interested in being part of broadband expansion in Schuylkill County and getting their hands on some of this grant money, but the task force doesn’t seem to be endorsing those application plans. That may not prevent those other local ISPs from submitting a successful grant application but it doesn’t help.

The task force says it “developed a submission process for ISPs that are interested in applying for projects in Schuylkill County.”

However, what’s unclear is who gave this unelected task force the authority to dictate who can and cannot provide internet service in Schuylkill County.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

The task force says it did a thorough review of the proposals from ISPs before selecting Comcast’s application to endorse. Schuylkill County Broadband Task Force is a subcommittee of the Chamber’s Infrastructure Committee and is comprised of Chamber members, County government officials, the Schuylkill Intermediate Unit 29, a “network” of libraries in Schuylkill County and other members of the community.

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!

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

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

More From The Canary

Local Weather

Don't forget Minersville Community Day, too!

Local Weather

Are you a glass-half-full or half-empty person?

Local Weather

Hopefully, we can fend off the rain chances in the forecast for Saturday, too.

Local Weather

It'll be one of those days when the high is as high as the low or the low is as high as the high.

Local Weather

Rain moves in at night.

Local Weather

The Spring we all love is back.

Local Weather

The 70s make a comeback after today.

PA Lottery Numbers

Wednesday's winning numbers

PA Lottery Numbers

Saturday's winning numbers

PA Lottery Numbers

Thursday's winning numbers

PA Lottery Numbers

Sunday's winning numbers