Connect Beaver County Reports Progress to Provide Broadband Access to More Than 200 Locations in Four Beaver County Communities
Two Early Action Projects Advance with Selection of Internet Service Providers
Beaver County, Pennsylvania, For Release on August 25, 2022
The Connect Beaver County Broadband Program today announced that two Early Action Projects are advancing to preliminary design and will expand broadband services to unserved locations in Beaver County. Armstrong was selected as the Internet Service Provider (ISP) for Hanover Township and Windstream as the ISP for Darlington Township, South Beaver Township, and Big Beaver Borough.
“These projects are an integral part of County leadership’s larger program to bring new broadband and improved service to parts of 24 municipalities in Beaver County using nearly $20 million in our American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding.” Said Beaver County Commissioner Tony Amadio
The Hanover Township project will provide new broadband service to 65 unserved locations along Hanover Kendall Road, Airline Drive, and Hanny Beaver Road. The Darlington, South Beaver and Big Beaver project includes 139 locations along the Route 51 Corridor, including Route 551 and Stitt Road, enabling economic growth with new internet connectivity. Access to new services is expected by the end of 2023.
“For the first time in many generations, the county has funding to help address connectivity needs in an equitable way that will help our current residents, attract new residents and sustain growth across the County for our residents who need it most,” said Beaver County Commissioner Jack Manning.
“The Route 51 corridor has been developing and this new connectivity is a tremendous boost to the growth potential,” said Representative Jim Marshall. “With these locations and the new service already being provided by Windstream as part of the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF), this corridor is ripe for continued development.”
These areas were determined to be unserved via the project’s Broadband Data Collection and Feasibility Study completed in December 2021, which identified the locations that lack internet or do not have reliable internet.
“Today’s announcement will also benefit the students and families in these areas who need a high-speed internet connection for school and work, which is proof positive that the county, leveraging our many months of planning, is helping residents access modern internet connectivity one area at a time,” said Lance Grable, Director of Planning and Redevelopment for Beaver County.
Armstrong and Windstream were selected due to their best value to the county, which includes connection speeds of 100 Mbps download and uploads with wireline technology; 2 innovative partnerships that build on existing fiber backbone infrastructure; and their ability to meet the projects’ timelines. Both contracts include 50% cost-sharing contributions, with the ISPs investing 50% of the cost and the remaining 50% covered by Beaver County’s ARPA funds. Planning, permitting, and design are scheduled to begin this fall. The construction schedule will be announced later this year.
The next step in the New Service phase of the program is to identify providers for the remaining Connectivity Opportunity Areas through a competitive proposal process with providers to be identified before the end of the year, pending contracting.
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
The Beaver County Commissioners have approved the use of nearly $20 million of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding to bring high-speed internet to the communities across the county that need it most. Through this program, broadband service access will be delivered to parts of 24 municipalities that are unserved or underserved. The funding must be allocated by 2024 and allows until 2026 for the work to be completed. Beaver County is committed to doing everything it can to connect as many residents and businesses as possible by 2024 with very remote locations potentially requiring additional time for access.
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