Spread the Word: Pennsylvania Statewide Broadband Connectivity and Digital Access Survey and Community Events | Compendium

Please take some actions today to ensure your community’s voices are included in Pennsylvania broadband plans.  Below you’ll find multiple opportunities from the Pennsylvania Broadband Development Authority to participate and also to share opportunities to participate with your community.  There’s something for everyone.

Survey for the Public

The Pennsylvania Broadband Development Authority (PBDA) is working towards bringing reliable, high-speed internet for all, along with advancing support and resources to improve digital access and skills to increase economic and social opportunities for all residents.

Currently, the PBDA is engaged in preparing two statewide plans: a 5-Year Action Plan for universal broadband service and a Digital Equity Plan. Both plans are funded through planning grants made available by the National Telecommunications and Infrastructure Administration (NTIA) and are being developed in collaboration to establish a comprehensive, successful, and sustainable path to connect all Pennsylvanians to digital opportunities.

As part our effort to ensure equitable connectivity for all Pennsylvanians, the PBDA has launched a public survey to hear from residents across Pennsylvania. Your participation is valued and necessary to help guide where upcoming funding should be focused to meet your needs, and the needs of your community. We also ask that you share this out with your networks for response.

The survey is open and will only take 10-15 minutes to complete:

Libraries, please share the survey link for all individuals widely within and beyond your communities: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/PA_BCDA

Survey for Stakeholders

Libraries, please take the stakeholder-only questionnaire and share it with other community groups and stakeholders: https://tinyurl.com/DEQuestionnaire 

This survey is longer, and may run 20-30 minutes. It’s geared at understanding what programs you already have and what resources you need – particularly as community partners who are positioned to benefit from upcoming funding. Questions are skippable if they don’t apply to you, but this is enormously helpful to ensure your needs are reflected in the Plans.

Promote and Attend a Community Conversation Near You (or Request a Meeting in a Box to Host Your Own)

The PBDA is scheduling a series of meetings and events, taking place across the state, to enable and encourage deeper and continued input from residents, community organizations, and municipal and county representatives. Join for an upcoming community broadband event and promote these events to your communities.

See the current schedule of Community Conversations and events to gather feedback for the plans that Pennsylvania will be submitting for the Broadband Access Equity Deployment and Digital Equity Act programs.  Currently, events are planned in regional areas throughout Pennsylvania.

If your library wants to host a conversation of your own, there is a contact to get a Meeting in a Box kit so you can ensure your community’s input on broadband access is gathered.

Engage Today

Be sure that your municipal officials, workforce partners, civic and social organizations, community non-profits, trustees, and all the patrons who use your wireless network or library computers and devices are aware of the surveys and community conversations and can help spread the word to ensure that every Pennsyvlanian can have their individual voice heard and input collected during the planning process.  It is critical that ALL Pennsylvanians, including those that are part of covered populations (rural inhabitants, low-income households, aging populations, incarcerated individuals, individuals with disabilities, individuals with a language barrier, veterans, and racial and ethnic minorities) give feedback and data that will impact the two broadband plans for Pennsylvania.  These plans represent a once in a lifetime opportunity to further narrow the digital divide and get as close to digital equity as we can.

Learn more and get engaged in the work of ensuring that high speed connectivity, affordability, device access, and digital skills to use that broadband is available and accessible for all.  Libraries can also reach out to Carrie at Office of Commonwealth Libraries (ccleary@pa.gov) to share impact stories, ideas, and local needs.

Reminder: If your library offers classes to improve digital skills or has a one-on-one technology coaching service, be sure it is included on the Digital Skills in Pennsylvania map by completing this form.  Use the map to find classes and tech help near your library and to learn about statewide online learning opportunities (like SkillUp™ PA) for all Pennsylvanians too.