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Stock photo by Brett Sayles

Harrisburg, Pa. – A total of 13 bidders in Pennsylvania will receive $368.7 million over the next 10 years to bring high speed internet service to homes and businesses to 184,505 locations that are underserved, or do not have access to broadband that meets current federal standards, according to the Pennsyvania Public Utility Commission (PUC).

Telecommunications service providers who achieve Eligible Telecommuniations Carries (ETCs) status can access federal high-cost support funding awarded through the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF). The approval of additional ETCs will increase high speed internet service.

Under federal law, Pennsylvania companies must obtain an ETC designation from the PUC before receiving federal universal service fund support to build voice and broadband networks and provide related services in high-cost areas of the Commonwealth. 

The Commission approved four new ETC designations in the Commonwealth – granting the petitions of: 

It also approved the joint petition of 

The companies were awarded funding in the recent award of up to $923 million annually for 10 years to winning bidders committed to providing voice and fixed broadband Internet services (BIAS) to unserved, high-cost areas, including Pennsylvania.

According to the FCC, the Pennsylvania projects will reach an estimated 327,000 residents in Adams, Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Bedford, Berks, Blair, Bradford, Bucks, Butler, Cambria, Cameron, Carbon, Centre, Chester, Clarion, Clearfield, Clinton, Columbia, Crawford, Cumberland, Dauphin, Delaware, Elk, Erie, Fayette, Forest, Franklin, Fulton, Greene, Huntingdon, Indiana, Jefferson, Juniata, Lackawanna, Lancaster, Lawrence, Lebanon, Lehigh, Luzerne, Lycoming, McKean, Mercer, Mifflin, Monroe, Montgomery, Montour, Northumberland, Perry, Philadelphia, Pike, Potter, Schuylkill, Snyder, Somerset, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Tioga, Union, Venango, Warren, Washington, Wayne, Westmoreland, Wyoming, and York counties.

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This story was compiled by an NCPA staff reporter from submitted news. To see a list of our editorial staff please visit our staff directory.