Southwestern Pa. residents can help boost the area’s broadband haul from the infrastructure bill

First, they want to get a better idea of the region’s connectivity needs, so they’re asking residents to complete a survey about the quality of their internet access.

The Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission, a planning agency for the 10 counties that make up the state’s southwest corner, is leading the study with Carnegie Mellon University and the Pittsburgh-based child advocacy nonprofit Allies for Children. They’ve called the initiative “Southwestern Pennsylvania Connected.”

The state will get at least $100 million to invest in broadband, according to federal officials. Vincent Valdes, executive director of the Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission, said the amount the Pittsburgh area receives will depend on its level of need.

“That’s certainly important to be able to access that money since I think it’ll be competitive,” he said. “We’re launching a survey to really kind of get a granular sense as to what the needs are in our region.”