Connect Beaver County Broadband Program moves forward with service to 1,846 households
BEAVER, PA (June 22, 2023) — The Beaver County Office of Planning and Redevelopment announced today that the County has selected Verizon to deploy high-speed fiber-optic broadband service to hundreds of Beaver County residents throughout the County by the end of 2026.
The partnership is the latest step in a multi-year effort to bring broadband access to unserved and underserved residents through the Connect Beaver County Broadband Program.
“Today’s announcement is great news for Beaver County communities, businesses and families,” said Commissioner Tony Amadio. “Connecting our residents provides an economic development boost to the county and improves people’s lives. More connections mean greater opportunities and more freedom for all.”
Beaver County Office of Planning and Development has set aside $11.9 million of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds for this phase of the Connect Beaver County Program. Verizon will more than match the County’s investment by contributing another $12.3 million.
Verizon, one of the world’s leading providers of technology and communications services, will provide broadband service to an estimated 1,846 households in 24 Beaver County municipalities along 369 miles of fiber-optic cable where broadband is currently unavailable or unreliable. The new state-of-the-art fiber-optic network will enable minimum speeds of 300 Mbps download/300 Mbps upload and maximum speeds of 1 Gig download/1 Gig upload.
“We’re grateful to partner with Verizon as Beaver County takes this major step forward in strengthening its internet connectivity,” said Commissioner Chairman Daniel Camp. “Our goal with our ARPA funds has always been to make investments that will have a lasting impact for generations. Verizon presented the most compelling proposal for moving the County in that direction though we were fortunate to receive many viable bids for this important project.”
“We are proud to partner with Beaver County to boost community broadband access in new ways in this community. This project Is just one of many ways Verizon is expanding our network to deliver reliable and fast internet to residents and businesses throughout the County,” said Bill Carnahan of Verizon State Government Affairs.
A competitive open request for proposals was launched in September 2022 to local and national internet service providers (ISPs). Bids were received through November 2022, and a thorough, internal evaluation, interview, and negotiation process followed.
The successful ISP was expected to deploy a network that meets the requirements set forth in the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA).
“I’m proud of the hard work and careful consideration our team at the Office of Planning and Redevelopment has achieved to get the county to this point,” said Commissioner Jack Manning. “We believe these investments will be transformational in keeping Beaver County competitive in the digital age. We look forward to the results this new infrastructure will bring and appreciate the stakeholder support that helped to make this a fully connected future in Beaver County possible.”
Municipalities with locations slated to receive service include: Big Beaver Borough, Brighton Township, Center
Township, Chippewa Township, Darlington Township, Daugherty Township, Eastvale Borough, Frankfort
Springs Borough, Franklin Township, Greene Township, Hanover Township, Hopewell Township, Independence
Township, Industry Borough, Marion Township, Midland Borough, New Sewickley Township, North Sewickley
Township, Ohioville Borough, Patterson Township, Potter Township, Raccoon Township, Shippingport
Borough, South Beaver Township.
A 2021 Data Collection and Feasibility Study identified 24 total municipalities that lacked complete access to high-speed or reliable internet under the federal minimum as defined by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Several municipalities with little to no access were previously identified as Early Action Projects with progress already underway with other providers.
“We’re grateful for Verizon’s partnership with the Connect Beaver County Broadband Program,” said Lance Grable Director of the Beaver County Office of Planning and Redevelopment. “Broadband infrastructure and access to high-speed internet is absolutely critical for modern education, business, public safety, health and so much more. This is a big step in addressing those needs for so many in our County and for closing that digital divide.”
To learn more about the Connect Beaver County Broadband Program, view progress, and join the mailing list, visit connectbeavercounty.com.
About the Connect Beaver County Broadband Program
Beaver County Office of Planning & Redevelopment is advancing the Connect Beaver County Broadband Program to deliver high-speed Internet to communities across the county that need it most. Through the Program, broadband service access will be provided in 24 municipalities across the county in areas that are unserved or underserved. This initiative will use nearly $20 million of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding and aims to be completed by December 2024. The program includes five key actions to close the digital divide: new broadband service; a Digital Navigator Program; Connect County-Owned Towers via Fiber; Broadband Utility Connection Fund; and Continued Digital Equity and Data Collection Analyses.
About the Beaver County Planning Commission
The mission of the Beaver County Planning Commission is to provide strategic, coordinated, and objective guidance and oversight to the growth, planning, and development activities of Beaver County. The goal of the Commission is to ensure that Beaver County’s future is characterized by a healthy environment, economy, and society achieved through proactive planning, citizen representation, effective communication, and professional services.
Chief Clerk, Beaver County