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CERB Rural Broadband Program

The 2018 Supplemental Capital Budget (Chapter 298, 2018, PV, Section 1008) created the CERB administered Broadband Infrastructure Program. CERB provides low-interest loan/grant packages to local governments and federally recognized Indian tribes, financing the cost to build infrastructure to provide high-speed, open-access broadband service, to rural underserved communities, for the purpose of community economic development.

Rural Broadband Program Information

CERB provides funding for construction and planning for rural broadband projects.

Prior to submitting an application for rural broadband construction, please print out and complete the Rural Broadband Threshold Checklist. This will ensure that the submitted application is complete.

Rural Broadband Planning Program
If your community is in need of rural broadband planning, CERB provides limited resources for planning studies. Please print out and complete the Planning Threshold Checklist. This will ensure that the submitted application is complete. All broadband planning projects must complete the Rural Broadband Planning Minimum Requirements and include them in the final submitted document. The Planning Program Application Overview document will show you what questions will be asked on the actual application.

For more information on our Planning Program, please see CERB’s Planning Program information.

Eligible Applicants

Public entities are eligible to apply for and receive loans and grants to build broadband infrastructure in rural underserved communities linked to community and economic development.

Eligible Applicants:
• Cities and Towns
• Counties
• Federally Recognized Indian Tribes
• Municipal Corporations
• Public Port Districts
• Quasi-Municipal Corporations
• Special Purpose Districts

Eligible Projects

Eligible projects are those that encourage, foster, develop, and improve broadband within the state in order to:

• Drive job creation, promote innovation, and expand markets for local businesses; or
• Serve the ongoing and growing needs of local education systems, health care systems, public safety systems, industries and businesses, governmental operations, and citizens; and
• Improve accessibility for underserved communities and populations.

Ineligible Activities

A project is ineligible for CERB Rural Broadband funding if:

• The primary purpose of the project is to facilitate or promote a retail shopping development or expansion.
• The primary purpose of the project is to facilitate or promote gambling.
• Evidence exists that the project would result in a development or expansion that would displace existing jobs in any other community in the state.
• The project is located outside the jurisdiction of the applicant local government or federally recognized Indian tribe.
• The project is for equipment or facilities, which would enable a public entity to provide retail, telecommunications services or services that the entity is not authorized by statute to provide.
• The project is for the deployment of publicly-owned telecommunication network infrastructure (“backbone”) solely for the sake of creating competitive, publicly-owned telecommunication network infrastructure.

Program links

Join our Rural Broadband email list!

Resources

Ready to Apply?

Contact
Janea Delk

CERB Program Director & Tribal Liaison
Janea.Delk@commerce.wa.gov
Phone: 360-725-3151

Need help?

Janea Delk
CERB Program Director & Tribal Liaison
Janea.Delk@commerce.wa.gov
Phone: 360-725-3151

Barbara Smith
Program Assistant
Barbara.Smith@commerce.wa.gov
Phone: 360-725-3169