A $36 million Recovery Act grant will be used by a company to bring 3G broadband service to the area, including Lycoming County.
U.S. Rep. Chris Carney, D-Dimock, said the federal stimulus money is vital to bringing immediate broadband service to rural communities that otherwise would be left behind in the global economy.
"We are covering a big chunk of the 10th District," he said. "To have it coming in place signals to companies looking to come here that northeast Pennsylvania is in play, that they have Marcellus Shale and have technological capabilities in place."
Carney said the grant will allow Keystone Wireless LLC of Boyertown to bring the service for benefiting nearly 1 million people, 26,000 businesses and 9,000 community institutions.
He said the service is expected to be in place by next year.
Carney said many businesses and institutions have been pushing for expanded broadband.
"I got a lot of inquiries in recent years. Chambers (of commerce) came to us," he said. "It's been something that's been discussed since long before I was in office."
Carney noted another big plus is the number of jobs that it will create. He said it can help put Williamsport "squarely in the global marketplace."
"Right now, the biggest telecommunications challenge facing America is access to broadband Internet," he said. "Universal broadband is critical to strengthening rural communities and fueling economic development throughout rural America. Basic broadband is no longer a luxury; it is a necessity. These Recovery Act investments are an important step towards universal access."