About the Program
Beaver County is advancing a Broadband Program to bring high-speed internet to the communities across the county that need it most. Through the Connect Beaver County Broadband Program, broadband service access will be provided in parts of 24 municipalities across the county in areas that are unserved and underserved.
This initiative will utilize just under $20 million of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding and aims to be completed by December 2024.
Below we have outlined the different stages and actions the program is taking to deliver connectivity to the unserved areas of Beaver County.
Broadband Data Collection & Feasibility Study: Completed Winter 2021
Broadband Connectivity Data Collection
Broadband Connectivity Opportunity Areas
To find out if an address or location is considered to be within a Connectivity Opportunity Area prioritized for future broadband projects, please enter the address in the address search bar in the upper left-hand corner of the map and press the ‘Enter’ key or click on the magnifying glass icon to the right. If the address or location is within the blue polygon shading, it is within a Connectivity Opportunity Area. If the address or location is not within the blue polygon shading, it is not considered to be within a Connectivity Opportunity Area at this time.
Additionally, Windstream is providing new service in Beaver County through a separate federal funding award called the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF). Addresses located within the orange polygons in the map above are considered within an RDOF area. More information about RDOF areas, can be found on our FAQ page.
The Connectivity Opportunity Areas are constantly being updated as we validate connections and the program progresses.
Early Action Projects: Spring 2022
In spring 2022, Beaver County will launch its first initiative to deliver service to two Connectivity Opportunity Areas. These pilot programs will establish the best practices for future connectivity project deployments in the county. Beaver County will be working closely with two reputable Internet Service Providers (ISPs) for this first step.
One of the Early Action Project areas is located in Hanover Township. Fiber will be installed near Hanover Kendall Road, Airline Drive and Hanny Beaver Road. By connecting these areas, 65 unserved locations will be provided broadband access.
The other Early Action Project area is located in Big Beaver Borough, South Beaver Township and Darlington Township. Fiber will be installed along Route 551 and Stitt Road. By connecting these areas, 139 unserved locations will be provided broadband access.
Provide Service to Opportunity Areas: Planning Begins in Fall 2022
In spring of 2022, Beaver County will ask local qualified internet service providers for bids to provide service to the Unserved and Underserved Connectivity Opportunity Areas. These Connectivity Opportunity Areas were prioritized based on the lack of both fixed and mobile internet service. There will be preference given to these areas to connect those currently without internet access. The selection of internet service providers is expected this summer, and work will begin this fall.
Digital Navigator Program: Planning Begins Summer 2022
Having fast broadband internet is great, but only useful if you know how to use it. With the rollout of the Connect Beaver County Broadband Program, the county will also be establishing a Digital Navigator Program. This program will support broadband access, adoption and digital equity needs. This program will be designed specifically with those who need support and help using the internet. Specialty Trained Digital Navigators will work with residents on building their digital literacy skills, including home connectivity, device set up, and digital skill building. These Digital Navigators are here to help you get the most out of what the internet has to offer. Beaver County is developing a plan to offer remote and socially distant in-person guidance at trusted community-based organizations.
Connect County-owned Towers via Fiber: Summer 2022
Providing better connectivity to Beaver County Emergency Services is a top priority. Connecting all eight county-owned radio towers with fiber will enable direct connectivity for emergency service communications systems and allows for the wireless radio system to serve as a back-up, instead of the primary communication system. Though the fiber is expected to be dedicated to Emergency Services’ needs, it may also be available to provide middle-mile service to businesses and homes.
Broadband Utility Connection Fund: Summer 2022
After the new internet service providers have been selected to service the unserved areas in Beaver County, a new fund will be set up to offer financial support to people who still do not have service to their structure due to the setback distance from the main road. A financial assistance application will be made available to eligible property owners. More details will be provided once the fund is established.
Mobile Connectivity Study: Late-2022, Early-2023
One of the main issues identified through the initial connectivity study field work and public survey is that mobile wireless connectivity is very poor throughout the county. Additional data collection focused on mobile wireless in areas not visited during the initial study will be conducted.
Future Unserved Areas Study: Late-2022, Early-2023
About the Beaver County Planning Commission (BCPC)
- Ms. Judith Charlton
- Heather Harmon-Kennedy
- Mychael Wells
- Ms. Cynthia Vannoy
- Mr. Christopher Ruppen
- Mr. Michael Dyrwal
- Mr. Howard Stuber
- Mr. Anthony Rosatone
- Ms. Dee Dixon
- Solicitor – Samuel J. Orr, III, Esq.
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