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(412) 391-5590 x302


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Planning & Development
Broadband Outreach & Aggregation

OBTT LogoLatest: Free Online Courses Now Available through the PA OBTT Program

SPC is pleased to announce that registration is now open for the Pennsylvania Online Broadband & Technology (OBTT) Program which offers free online courses throughout the Commonwealth.  The PA OBTT course library was designed with small businesses, local governments, and nonprofits in mind.  With more than 100 free courses to choose from, there is something new for everyone to explore.  Course topics include Online Marketing; Website Development; Cloud Computing; Quickbooks; Microsoft Applications including Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint and Access; Business Skills; Project Management; and more.  A full course listing and registration information is available in PDF here, at www.paobtt.com, or by contacting Abigail Stark by email at astark@spcregion.org.

OBTT is a statewide initiative administered by a consortium of regional economic development agencies.  It was created to increase the use of broadband as a competitive advantage for businesses, governments, and nonprofit organizations  within the Commonwealth.  Funding for this program is provided by the PA Department of Community & Economic Development (DCED) as a component of a larger PA DCED initiative funded through the State Broadband Data and Development (SBDD) initiative, part in which is funded with American Recovery Act dollars, through Department of Commerce National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA).

For more information contact Abigail Stark at astark@spcregion.org or by phone at 412-391-5590 ext 343.   

About The Program

The Pennsylvania Telecommunications Act 183 created The Broadband Outreach and Aggregation Fund (BOAF), which is a vehicle whereby the Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission (SPC) will develop outreach programs concerning the benefits, use and procurement of broadband services, as well as aggregating customer demand in communities with no service.  Most of Pennsylvania currently has sufficient broadband available; however, because of low population density and physical remoteness, many rural areas do not.  The ultimate goal is to expand affordable broadband services to communities that do not currently have access to these modern services.  This goal will be accomplished through educational outreach and customer aggregation at a community and carrier service area (CSA) level through the Bona Fide Retail Request Program (BFRR).  Act 183 requires service providers to give their Pennsylvania customers an opportunity to complete a BFRR for high-speed Internet service, which could expedite service deployment to that area.  Under this program, if a CSA is able to collect a certain number of (BFRR) forms, the service provider is then required to install high-speed Internet service within 365 days.  The number of forms required is a total of 50 or 25 percent of the residential customers in that service area, whichever is less.

SPC will help communities aggregate the demand for broadband service and require Internet Service Provider (ISP) companies to respond to the new demand for services in a more timely fashion.  SPC will identify one “sparkplug” in each community who is willing to aggregate broadband demand.  The sparkplug will promote the project, talk to fellow community members about the benefits of broadband access, initiate a grassroots movement to aggregate demand, and sign up community members to purchase future broadband services.  In order to make this project successful, the sparkplug must have the time and passion for this project.

The area covered by this outreach and aggregation project includes nine (9) counties in Southwestern Pennsylvania: Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Greene, Indiana, Washington, and Westmoreland. The goals are to expand broadband service, promote competition, and provide the most effective and efficient broadband service to communities within the region.

Below are the BFRR forms for the companies that provide telephone and broadband service in the region.  If you have any questions regarding who provides your service or how to bring broadband service into your area, please contact Ryan Falcone at 412-391-5590 x348 or rfalcone@spcregion.org.

Newpa.com offers a service where you can search by county or zip code to determine if either DSL or wireless service (not cable modem) is available to you.  To more accurately determine what broadband service is available at your address, contact both your local telephone company and your local cable provider.

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For questions about Broadband Outreach & Aggregation, contact Ryan Falcone at (412) 391-5590 x309 or e-mail rfalcone@spcregion.org.

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NEW: Previous Programs

 

Butler County Courthouse & Monument

For questions about Community Assistance, contact Jamie Colecchi at (412) 391-5590 x325 or e-mail jcolecchi@spcregion.org.

 

 

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