Nongovernmental entities can now apply for some of the $5 million set aside to fund projects that will bring high-speed broadband infrastructure to underserved communities in Pennsylvania, Gov. Tom Wolf’s office announced.

The application window opened on June 1 for organizations to apply for funding through the Unserved High-Speed Broadband (UHSB) Funding program.

“Nearly a million Pennsylvanians lack access to broadband internet connectivity,” the release says. “The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the critical need for broadband access for families working and learning from home, for businesses operating online services, for patients relying on telehealth, and more.”

The project will be funded through the Commonwealth Funding Authority (CFA) to support projects and proposals from nongovernmental entities that have the technical ability and know-how to deploy infrastructure services that would bring high-speed broadband to underserved or unserved areas in the commonwealth.

The idea behind the program is to expand high-speed broadband access in the commonwealth by leveraging private investments.

“Since taking office, one of my biggest priorities has been to build out the infrastructure needed to connect all Pennsylvanians to high-speed broadband internet,” Wolf said in a statement. “I encourage all eligible applicants to submit an application for funding today.”

The application window will remain open until Sept. 24.

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