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Southern Alleghenies gets grant

Eight counties to undergo infrastructure assessment

Southern Alleghenies Planning & Development Commission has been awarded $50,000 from the Appalachian Regional Commission to complete an eight-county assessment of broadband infrastructure.

Bedford, Blair, Cambria, Fayette, Fulton, Huntingdon, Somerset and Westmoreland counties have partnered on the project and are providing $50,000 in matching funds for the study.

Brandon Carson, director of planning and community development at SAP&DC, has been working on the effort with representatives from the region for nearly a year.

“We’re excited to collaborate with ARC and our eight-county Broadband Task Force to begin to address the lack of broadband connectivity in the region. This study will arm us with the information needed to implement meaningful solutions that will provide residents and businesses in the region with better access to reliable broadband services,” Carson said in a statement.

The announcement by ARC is one of 54 investments totaling $44.4 million via ARC’s Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization Initiative, designed to help communities and regions that have been affected by job losses in coal mining and related businesses.

The task force is seeking proposals to complete the eight-county study that will look at unserved and underserved areas, current level of service, business needs, current broadband assets, community requirements, recommendations and cost estimates.

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