New Analysis Shows Need for Broadband Service Improvement in Rural Pennsylvania

Broadband service improvements are needed across Pennsylvania, but the most significant need is among rural counties, according to a new analysis of broadband speed test data by the Center for Rural Pennsylvania.

The Center estimated broadband connectivity in Pennsylvania’s rural and urban counties using data from Measurement Lab (M-Lab), which measured the download and upload speeds of internet users throughout Pennsylvania. M-Lab is a consortium of research, industry, and public-interest partners providing verifiable measurement of global network performance.  The Center’s analysis included data from nearly 3 million upload and download speed tests taken throughout Pennsylvania in calendar year 2021. The data were provided to the Center by a collaboration between Exactly Labs and X-Lab, a non-partisan technology and policy institute at Penn State University.

Using these data, the Center identified areas that continue to lack significant access to broadband internet service. The analysis showed need across Pennsylvania for improved broadband service, but the counties most in need, and most eligible for aid under federal programs, are rural, and are in the Central Susquehanna Valley region (Juniata, Perry, and Snyder counties), por­tions of the Pennsylvania Wilds (Cameron, Clarion, Elk, and Forest counties), and the northeast (Susquehanna and Wyoming counties), as well as Greene County in the southwest and Crawford County in the northwest.

Get the report, Pennsylvania Broadband Access: A Speed Test Analysis.