Land-use webinar to help communities make smart choices on broadband deployment

January 13, 2021

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Helping communities make quality choices about the deployment of broadband services is the topic of a web-based seminar to be offered by Penn State Extension at noon on Jan. 20.

Presenting the 75-minute webinar will be Joe Witmer, with the Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission, and Harry Crissy and Tom Beresnyak, Penn State Extension educators.

With COVID-19, the rural divide just became bigger. The presence of adequate broadband impacts distance-learning for K-12 as well as higher education, health care, economic development and other aspects of land-use planning. Current circumstances are demonstrating broadband internet access as a requirement, rather than a luxury, for Pennsylvania residents.

“While the need for accessible and affordable broadband extends far beyond the current crisis, the COVID-19 pandemic has added a newfound urgency to broadband expansion,” said Crissy. “Connectivity is an essential aspect of our day-to-day lives. To better enable innovation and development in the marketplace, this webinar aims to clarify pros and cons associated with various available broadband technologies.”

The webinar also will demonstrate mapping technologies being developed by Penn State Extension for use by communities, organizations and individuals to better understand the current state of broadband in Pennsylvania.

“Making Quality Choices in Broadband Deployment” is the first webinar in the Penn State Extension Winter/Spring 2021 Land-Use Webinar Series that runs through May. The webinar series assists municipal elected and appointed officials, planners, landowners, farmers and community organizations be informed about land-use issues and decisions in their communities.

Other topics and dates in the webinar series include:

–Feb. 17: “Impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic, and Potential Redevelopment Options for Retail Spaces.”

–March 17: “Making Planning More Adaptable: Adaptive Planning.”

–April 21: “Planning for Growth, Prosperity and Resiliency: Using the Comprehensive Economic Development Strategies Plan and Process to Innovate and Guide Strategic Growth.”

–May 19: “Community-Needs Assessments That Planners Should Know About.”

These programs will be recorded and available for viewing.

The cost of the webinar series is $50 for all five sessions, or $95 for all five sessions for those who want to receive AICP certification maintenance credits from the American Planning Association. The cost is also $95 for all five sessions for professional engineers needing PDH credits.

In addition, registered landscape architects can receive continuing education credits for a fee of $65.

For more information, contact Peter Wulfhorst at 570-296-3400 or by email at To register for the webinars, visit the website.


(Media Contacts)

Last Updated January 13, 2021