A historic amount of federal funding for broadband infrastructure is on the way to each state across the country. Rural communities in our region are starting to assess their readiness to get and absorb this capital. Local leaders must make sure they’re prepared to make the most of this funding for their communities.

This event is for rural economic or workforce development corporations, nonprofits working with low- and moderate-income communities, and other rural or countywide decision makers who are looking to obtain — or want to know more about — this funding. Attendees gained insights on the forthcoming Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment Act and the Digital Equity Act and how to weave them into a comprehensive economic development strategy. Presentations included recent data on access in rural Pennsylvania and how to increase capacity for applying for grants. Additionally, we dove into the roles of small internet service providers, and others in community efforts toward digital inclusion.

Watch a Video of the Event

Presenters included:

  • Christopher Ali, Pioneers Chair in Telecommunications, Penn State University
  • Roberto Gallardo, Director, Purdue Center for Regional Development
  • LaShawn Williamson, Founder and CEO, Wave 7 Communications, LLC
  • Marty Qually, County Commissioner, Adams County (PA)

Download the presentation slides.

This virtual meeting is a continuation of the Rural Community Action Assemblies. Launched in 2020, the series focuses on actionable research and programmatic models to promote strong and equitable community, economic, and workforce development in rural Pennsylvania. This year’s series is cohosted by the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia and Penn State’s Center for Economic and Community Development.

For questions about this series, please contact Philip Jones at philip.jones@phil.frb.org.