Senator Pittman to kickoff series of public hearings on closing Pennsylvania’s digital divide

INDIANA – The state Senate Communications and Technology Committee will come to Indiana County to conduct the first of a series of hearings on Wednesday, August 7 on ways to improve access to high-speed internet for Pennsylvanians.

The committee is spending August and September traversing the state to gather feedback and collect testimony from a variety of experts and stakeholders on how the digital divide is adversely impacting Pennsylvania’s competitiveness, according to committee Chair Kristin Phillips-Hill (R-York).

Wednesday’s hearing is being held at the request of Senator Joe Pittman (R-Armstrong/Butler/Indiana/Westmoreland), who wanted to focus on how high-speed internet access can help with creating new jobs, as well as its impact on local services.

“I appreciate Senator Phillips-Hill holding this hearing on the need for greater broadband access in rural Pennsylvania,” Pittman said. “It is important the Senate Communications and Technology Committee is highlighting this issue as it affects not only my constituents, but Pennsylvanians in rural communities statewide.”

“Lack of access to high-speed internet affects residents in a variety of ways,” Phillips-Hill added. “I commend Senator Pittman for hosting this important hearing for us to dive deeper in to how our digital divide is affecting our economic opportunities as well as local services many residents have come to expect.”

Wednesday’s hearing will feature testimony from the Public Utility Commission, the Center for Rural Broadband, the Governor’s Office of Broadband Initiatives, the Pennsylvania Telephone Association, Verizon, the Pennsylvania Local Government Commission, the Pennsylvania Association of Township Supervisors, Indiana County Commissioner Rodney Ruddock, Altoona Mayor Matt Pacifico, Pennsylvania Manufacturers’ Association, North Central Pennsylvania Regional Planning and Development Commission and the REA Energy Cooperative.

The hearing will start at 10 a.m. at the Blue Spruce Lodge, located at 1128 Blue Spruce Road, Indiana, PA 15701, and is open to the public.

You can learn more about the hearing, view the agenda and read testimony at

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