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Township residents request expansion of broadband

Loyalsock Township supervisors would prefer to see broadband internet expansion in the township, the township manager said.

Expansion of high-speed internet would only help high school and college students, employees and senior citizens do online internet work, shopping and communicate during the COVID-19 pandemic and the future.

“We have gotten a number of calls,” said Bill Burdett, township manager.

“A number of areas are not served,” he said.

Burdett said he contacted the Lycoming County commissioners about the matter.

A few areas of the township are served but some residents say they are unable to participate in Zoom calls or do all of their work or school online, Burdett said.

Lycoming County Commissioner Scott Metzger told supervisors Tuesday the county received a grant.

An internet broadband study was completed by SEDA-Council of Governments in 2019.

“Apparently, we were not surveyed,” Burdett said.

Oddly, an anchor Xfinity store in the county is in the township on East Third Street.

Meanwhile, state Sen. Gene Yaw, R-Loyalsock Township, said he has urged Gov. Tom Wolf to sign legislation creating a grant program to extend deployment of broadband services in underserved areas of the state.

Access to broadband, especially for those who tele-work, senior citizens, fire and emergency workers and students who are taking classes remotely has become even more crucial during the COVID-19 pandemic, Yaw said.

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