Made possible by an infrastructure investment of more than $10 billion since 1996, Pennsylvania’s cable industry has led the development of broadband Internet service throughout the Commonwealth, currently providing service to approximately 3 million customers. Nationally, that investment of private capital by cable companies exceeds $245 billion.
In Pennsylvania and throughout the country, cable companies provide the fastest broadband speeds, with average peak connection speeds exceeding 50 Mbps in all fifty states – with many providers offering options ranging from 150 Mbps to 500 Mbps download. Additionally, gigabit services are becoming the norm in many areas.
The Internet today is clearly a necessity for residences and businesses, regardless of location. Broadband cable companies have led the way in Pennsylvania by providing access to previously unserved areas, including much of rural Pennsylvania. Farmers rely on the Internet to manage and market crops and remain competitive in today’s agricultural economy – a segment that involves the 27 percent of Pennsylvania designated as farmland.
Also in rural communities, broadband access from cable companies is reinventing healthcare throughout our state. Where it used to take at least a full day to get to and from a doctor’s office, patients can now have a video-visit with a doctor from the comfort of their own home. Where x-rays would have to be sent off for analysis, delaying treatment up to one week, they now – with broadband service – can be transferred and analyzed instantly for immediate treatment. These efficiencies not only save time, they save money for the patient and provider, and most importantly are helping save lives by getting people the care they need faster.
For small businesses and artisans in the Commonwealth, high-speed Internet means they can reach more customers by selling directly to people all over the world. Again, broadband cable companies are Pennsylvania’s leader in providing that valuable Internet access needed to grow and succeed.
With video, cable engages in an increasingly competitive marketplace where entertainment has long escaped the confines of the family room. For several years now, broadband cable companies have provided services allowing subscribers to access live programming that streams directly to a tablet, computer, or smartphone. Cable customers can purchase and download their favorite shows via multiple services, store video in the cloud and watch it on almost any device, at any time from any location.
Throughout Pennsylvania, the cable industry significantly contributes to charities, educational institutions and non-profit organizations. Taxes and franchise fees paid directly to municipalities in the Commonwealth annually exceed well over $200 million. Today, broadband cable companies employ more than 13,000 Pennsylvanians, while over 118,000 Pennsylvania workers are employed directly and indirectly by the cable industry. In fact, in two of the Commonwealth’s most sparsely-populated Congressional districts – the 5th and the 10th blanketing the state’s northern tier – cable companies alone employ more than 1,300 workers, and the cable industry generates more than 6,000 jobs in that region with a financial impact of more than $920 million. Overall in 2016, the economic impact of the cable industry in the entire state totaled $17.7 billion!
Five of the nation’s top 20 cable companies are headquartered in Pennsylvania: Armstrong, Blue Ridge Communications, Comcast, Service Electric Cable TV & Communications and Service Electric Cablevision. Additionally, Pennsylvania’s cable operators offer free cable service to virtually all primary and secondary schools in the state…while continuing to provide 100 percent funding and support for Pennsylvania Cable Network (PCN), one of the country’s premiere state public affairs platforms. PCN offers comprehensive coverage of the Pennsylvania General Assembly, tours of state manufacturers, high school sports championships and virtually everything Pennsylvania.
For all Pennsylvanians, cable provides the best of today’s advanced broadband services. In short, the Commonwealth’s economy is benefiting from more jobs, capital investment, and innovation while Pennsylvania consumers have more choice, convenience, and control.