Fiber optic internet coming to Central Pennsylvania?

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (“NTIA”) recently released its anticipated Notice of Funding Opportunity (“NOFO”) for the $42.45 billion Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (“BEAD”) Program. The NOFO provides guidance to states in terms of funding, and will (eventually) award contracts for broadband to be extended into unserved and underserved communities. The NOFO places an emphasis on fiber optic infrastructure – high speed internet access that can serve up to 100 Gbps. You can read the full NOFO at, or, for a solid summary, check out the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s analysis at: ISPs presently have until July 18, 2022 to submit applications to take advantage of the funding.

Fiber tends to be faster and more reliable than cable. However, Central Pennsylvania, like many other rural communities, lacks any significant fiber infrastructure for residential uses. Thankfully, end-to-end fiber optic architectures is identified in the NOFO as a “Priority Broadband Projects.” Let’s hope that some of the funding makes its way to our communities.