In comparison to the rest of the country, Pennsylvania ranks 11th in terms of broadband access. The best high-speed coverage in Pennsylvania is concentrated in the southeast and west-central ends of the state. At this time, 43.4% of Pennsylvanians have access to fiber-optic service, which is significantly higher than the 25% of Americans who have access to fiber internet on a nationwide scale. User speed tests show that Pennsylvania’s average download speed is 144.7 Mbps. This download speed is comparable to average speeds in Washington State, New Hampshire, and Arizona.
The Digital Divide in Pennsylvania
While some of Pennsylvania’s residents have access to low-priced, high-speed internet, other Pennsylvanians remain without access to the same affordable technology. This constitutes what is known as a digital divide and can be measured by the following data.
When it comes to high-speed internet access, 95.1% of Pennsylvanians have access to wired broadband with speeds of 25 Mbps or faster. However, 598,000 people in Pennsylvania do not currently have access to a wired connection capable of such speeds. Further, while there are 213 internet providers offering services in Pennsylvania, 162,000 people in Pennsylvania don’t have any wired internet providers available where they live, and another 619,000 people only have access to one internet provider at their place of residence, giving them very limited options when choosing an internet plan.
Affordability data reveals that 51.9% of Pennsylvania’s residents have access to a low-priced internet plan costing $60 or less per month. This is nearly consistent with the nationwide average of 51.5% of consumers with access to the same.
Pennsylvania is relatively well-connected on a statewide level; however, there are a few cities that offer the best combination of speed, coverage, and price within the state. The five most well-connected cities in Pennsylvania are Allentown, Bethlehem, Pittsburgh, Drexel Hill, and Philadelphia, with Allentown ranking best in the state.
On the other end of the spectrum, the cities with the worst internet connection in Pennsylvania are West Middletown, Oakland Mills, Camel, Amberson, and Roxbury, with West Middletown ranking lowest in the state.
Since 2010, the PA Department of Community and Economic Development has been awarded $7,356,301 in federal grants to further broadband development and mapping within Pennsylvania.
An additional $128,444,692 in federal grants has funded broadband infrastructure projects throughout the state.
The information above is taken from a mix of public and private datasets. More about our data here.