Our Latest in Pennsylvania

David Kerr
October 2, 2020
Broadband Access and Affordability

Our Latest in Pennsylvania

Dear Friends,

It’s hard to believe what our state and nation has endured for the past six months. COVID-19 has changed the way we live, learn, work and interact with one another. We’ve seen a renewed and essential conversation on racial justice and equality. There’s much work ahead on these and other fronts, and we’re focused on helping find solutions while planning for the future.

Through it all, our employees remain committed to keeping Pennsylvania connected and to supporting our communities during these challenging times – much like we have done for more than a century.

This edition highlights our support for projects that prepare young people for college and careers; our continued build out of our network, including the FirstNet mobile broadband network for public safety; and our investments in the Commonwealth.

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AT&T Helps Organization Boost Students’ Skills

Despite the many challenges they’ve faced this summer, several local organizations pressed ahead with programs that help young people prepare for college and career. And, the AT&T Foundation proudly supported these groups, helping them meet their missions and achieve their goals.

The organizations include:

  • Chester County Futures received a $7,500 grant to support the Passport to College program. The program prepares over 200 low income high school students for higher education and beyond through mentoring, college tours, and after-school enrichment sessions which focus on college readiness, career exploration and skill building activities.
  • Coded by Kids in Philadelphia received a $12,500 grant to support staff, camera equipment, and student incentives to transition CbK Academy to an online platform used by high school students in Philadelphia for online tech education due to COVID-19.
  • Lycoming College received a $15,000 grant to support student scholarships and personnel for the Lycoming Summer Academy, a two-week program focused on academic preparedness, career awareness and community building for low income and/or first-generation college students in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.
  • Pennsylvania Governor’s School for the Sciences received a $15,000 grant to support staff, supplies and curriculum copies for Pennsylvania Governor’s School for the Sciences (PGSS), a 5-week summer program for 64 high school students in Pittsburgh. The program focuses on increasing academic and college readiness in fields related to STEM.
  • Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education Foundation received a $25,000 grant to support the AT&T Foundation STEM Awards which provide twenty-five $1,000 scholarships to college students in Pennsylvania to help cultivate Pennsylvania’s future workforce in computer technology, advanced manufacturing and energy industries.
  • Taller Puertorriqueno in Philadelphia received a $10,000 grant to support staff and art mentors, art supplies, field trips and other program expenses for the Youth Artist Program, an artistic-skill development college access program for at-risk Latino high school students from Philadelphia, PA who are interested in careers in the creative industry.

AT&T Helping Teachers & Students Go Back to School

The new school year looks very different for teachers and students across the U.S.

It’s especially true for educators serving pupils with special needs. Just 1 in 5 families with children in special education reported receiving all the support services to which their children were entitled when schools started distance learning.1

To help, AT&T matched donations up to $250,000 to special needs distance learning projects posted from low-income school districts to DonorsChoose, a nonprofit crowdfunding platform that allows public school teachers to request support for resources. To learn more about other projects you can support, click here.


AT&T Expands FirstNet Network, Adds New Cell Sites Across Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania’s first responders are getting a major boost in their wireless communications with the addition of new, purpose-built FirstNet cell sites and other network enhancements statewide. This new infrastructure is a part of the FirstNet network expansion taking place across the state, bringing increased coverage, capacity and capabilities for public safety.

New FirstNet cell sites have launched in the following communities:

  • Huntingdon County: This new site provides coverage around Broad Top City and along SR-913 and Broad St.
  • Lycoming County: A new site offers new coverage in Barbours, as well as Route 87 throughout the area.
    • “FirstNet has opened up a new level of data transmission service for the public safety world. Loyalsock Volunteer Fire Company No.1 enjoys the data speeds and call preemption service in the regions command unit as well as our tablet used in our EMS and Fire units,” said Rich Caschera, North Central Regional Task Force. “We enjoy a great working relationship with the FirstNet Pennsylvania State Interop Team and the FirstNet support team at AT&T. We saved on costs and gained service – a WIN!”
  • Sullivan County: This new site in Forksville enhances coverage along East Bear Mountain Road and Route 154 as well as surrounding areas.


We’ve also added 9 new cell sites throughout Western Pennsylvania to enhance the area’s mobile broadband coverage and help give residents, visitors and first responders faster, more reliable wireless service. Our investment will help customers get the most out of their mobile devices. The new sites are in:

  • Armstrong County: A new site in Dayton adds additional coverage and capacity in the borough and along SR-839. A second site adds additional coverage and capacity between Worthington and West Kittanning along US-422 and Old US Highway 422.
  • Clearfield County: This new site adds additional coverage and capacity in Knox Township and along SR-453 southeast of Olanta.
  • Crawford County: This new site adds additional coverage and capacity between Mill Village and Cambridge Springs along US-19.
  • Erie County: This new site adds additional coverage and capacity around I-90 and US-19 and at Splash Lagoon resort.
  • Forest County: This new site adds coverage and capacity West of Tionesta along US-62 between Tionesta and President.
  • Mercer County: This new site adds coverage and capacity northeast of Sandy Lake and along CR-884 and CR-1012.
  • Venango County: This new site adds additional coverage and capacity east of Oil City and Woodland Heights along US-62.
  • Westmoreland County: This new site adds additional coverage in Smithton and along SR-981.


AT&T Invests More Than $850 Million Over Three-Year Period to Keep Pennsylvania Connected 

AT&T is proud to have the nation’s best and also fastest wireless network,1  as well as the largest network in North America.2  From 2017-2019, we invested more than $850 million in our wireless and wireline networks in Pennsylvania to expand coverage and improve connectivity in more communities, including more than $425 million in the Philadelphia area.

That investment has increased reliability, coverage and overall performance for residents and businesses, which is essential for connecting our customers with family, friends and colleagues – no matter the distance. It’s also improved critical communications services for Pennsylvania’s first responders using the FirstNet network.


1 Best Network based on 2019 GWS OneScore. Fastest based on analysis by Ookla® of Speedtest Intelligence® data median download speeds for Q2 2020. Ookla trademarks used under license and reprinted with permission.

2 Based on comparison of carrier owned & operated networks. No AT&T on-net coverage in select countries, including Canada.