Wolf to put $35M toward encouraging broadband expansion in remote areas

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) -- Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf's administration says it's making $35 million available to encourage telecommunications companies extend high-speed internet service to areas that lack it.

Wolf's administration said Monday that it is hoping to expand broadband internet to every part of Pennsylvania by the end of 2022.

The administration wants to make the incentives available ahead of a Federal Communications Commission auction that subsidizes the build-out of broadband internet to unserved areas.

Residents in sparsely populated areas say it's next to impossible to stream TV shows, telecommute, do videoconferencing or consistently access their cloud-based email. The FCC says about 800,000 Pennsylvania residents lack access to high-speed internet access, including one in five people living in rural areas. About two-thirds are in rural areas while one-third are in urban areas.