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State Sen. Kristin Phillips-Hill will be co-chairwoman of a new caucus dedicated to bringing high-speed internet to more areas in the state.

The York Township Republican announced the formation of the bicameral, bipartisan Broadband Caucus on Tuesday, April 16. 

"Folks and the Legislature know there's a lot of work that needs to be done (to increase broadband access)," Phillips-Hill said. "Affordable and reliable service across the commonwealth is essential to our economic success."

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When Phillips-Hill began pushing for increased broadband access as a House representative last session, not much discussion on the subject was happening at the Capitol, she said. That's changing.

The caucus won't be able to vote on any legislation, but it can bring awareness, conduct research and lay the groundwork for future legislation that would extend broadband service to those in the state living without it.

A map created by researchers at Penn State University shows about 90% of the state's geographic area doesn't have access to what the Federal Communications Commission deems as high-speed broadband internet.

In York County specifically, the southern municipalities struggle more than the others because of geography and low population, Phillips-Hill said.

"If you've spent time down there, it's hard in many places to get a cellphone signal, let alone a high-speed signal," she continued.

State Rep. Pam Snyder, D-Washington County, will co-chair the caucus. They are now in the process of recruiting more members.

— Logan Hullinger can be reached at lhullinger@yorkdispatch.com or via Twitter at @LoganHullYD

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