The Lead

FCC broadband program brings SpaceX, other telecommunications companies to Pa.

By: - December 9, 2020 12:23 pm

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission announced Wednesday that 13 bidders in Pennsylvania will receive more than $300 million over the next decade to boost high-speed internet service to underserved communities across the state.

The project is part of the Federal Communications Commission’s Rural Digital Opportunity Fund, or RUDOF. 

The auction, part of the first phase of the project, allocated $9.2 billion to telecommunications companies in 49 states and the Northern Mariana Islands.

“This is a success for everyone in Pennsylvania who has worked to educate stakeholders about the FCC auction process,” PUC Chairman Gladys Brown Dutrieuille said in a statement. “This hard work will help residents and businesses in underserved regions get access to more high-speed broadband services.”

The projects across the commonwealth are expected to reach an estimated 327,000 residents in 66 of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties. 

The 13 companies, who won bids in Pennsylvania include telecommunications giant CenturyLink, which employs 42,500 people and provides digital subscriber line, (DSL) services to an estimated 48.3 million Americans, according to Statista, and Space Exploration Technologies Corporation, also known as SpaceX. 

Four of the 13 companies are based in Pennsylvania. Armstrong Telephone Company, Allegheny County; Centre WISP Venture Company, Mifflin County; QCOL Inc., Fayette County and Zito West Holding, LLC, Potter County. 

The full list of bidders, the number of locations and their allocated funds can be found in this table: 

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Cassie Miller
Cassie Miller

A native Pennsylvanian, Cassie Miller worked for various publications across the Midstate before joining the team at the Pennsylvania Capital-Star. In her previous roles, she has covered everything from local sports to the financial services industry.