A company is spending millions to bring broadband connections to rural areas
As part of a public/private partnership, a Pennsylvania company is wiring
a rural, mid-state corridor with state-of-the-art telecommunications equipment.
The project is the first for the KeyNet Alliance, a 16-company consortium
led by Pennsylvania-based Adelphia Business Solutions.
When ABS beat out Verizon Communications three years ago to win Pennsylvania's
$228 million Keystone Communications program to wire the state government,
the company offered to wire needy parts of the state as well — $10 million
in work to be matched by state and federal money.
Through the KeyNet Alliance, ABS aims to link sites such as libraries
and schools to the high-powered lines the company is installing for the
"To compete in today's society, these communities need the connectivity
power that this communications project will deliver," said Scott Elliott,
a spokesman with the Governor's Office of Administration. "ABS showed us
that they really cared about the commonwealth by presenting an idea that
links our schools, libraries and rural communities to what will be a state-of-the-art
The first project involves putting $810,000 worth of fiber lines and
network equipment along the state's I-99 corridor between State College
and Altoona. State officials hope the high-speed lines will attract jobs
through several industrial parks that will benefit from the upgrade.
"The future projects are going to be geared toward areas that we see
as underserved in the way of telecommunications readiness," said Mel Collins,
staff director for the KeyNet Alliance and director of government and educational
markets for ABS. "Small businesses, rural areas, school districts — these
are the entities we are hoping will come to us and express their interest
in the program and areas that we'd like to see benefit around the state."
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