Thanks to new grants, more than 40,000 Pennsylvania locations can get online

“More than 40,000 locations in 42 Pennsylvania counties will be getting speedy online access as soon as the end of the year, following the approval Thursday of $204.1 million in federal grants for broadband infrastructure and line extensions.

The Pennsylvania Broadband Development Authority board unanimously endorsed grants ranging up to $10 million each to a dozen internet service providers for 53 projects in areas across the state that have inadequate broadband service…

But Karen Lightman, executive director of Metro21 Smart Cities Institute, a Carnegie Mellon University research group focusing on technology and community life, wondered whether the 1 gigabyte download and upload speeds required for funded projects was enough.

The minimum required speed could be outdated in as little as two years, she said.

“It’s going to be obsolete,” Ms. Lightman said. “We don’t know where AI is going, but we do know it’s going to take a lot of computing power. If we’re talking about transformative telecommunications, a gig is not enough.””

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