PWB Broadband
Eligible Applicants

Public Entities:
• Cities and Towns
• Counties
• Public Port Districts
• Public Utility Districts
• Other Special Purpose Districts
• Quasi-Municipal Corporations
• Tribes
• Nonprofit Organizations
• Cooperative Associations

Private Entities:
• Limited liability corporations organized for the purpose of expanding broadband access
• Incorporated businesses or partnerships

To ensure that a grant or loan to a private entity primarily serves the public interest and benefits the public, there must be a guarantee that the asset or infrastructure to be developed will be maintained for public use for a period of at least fifteen years.

Funding Limits

• $2 million per project loan/grant award limit with a 50% match.
• Projects in financially distressed areas and Indian country may receive up to 90% of the total project cost for a total not to exceed $5 million.

PWB Broadband Fact Sheet

Governor Inslee signing 2SSB 5511 into law.
Governor Inslee signs 2SSB 5511 into law, establishing a new broadband program within PWB.

Planning-Feasibility Study Grants
Application Cycle 10/11/19 – 11/14/19

Broadband Planning-Feasibility Study Grants are for strategic planning activities that facilitate the deployment of broadband service in unserved areas across Washington. The total amount available is $500,000, with a maximum award of $50,000 per applicant.

Broadband Planning-Feasibility Grant Application Guidelines (PDF)

Electronic submission of applications for all PWB programs are through ZoomGrants. Paper copies will not be accepted.

Click Apply for PWB Broadband Planning-Feasibility Grants via ZoomGrants to reach the ZoomGrants website. If you have a ZoomGrants account, log in and follow the instructions. If you are a new user, complete the required information for a new ZoomGrants account to create a profile. Please do not use “The” as the first word in the agency name. Once the agency profile has been created, select the Public Works Board Program you wish to apply for, check the “apply” button, and start your proposal. Answers are automatically saved.

Broadband Planning-Feasibility Application Preview (PDF)
Training – Using ZoomGrants to Apply for Public Works Board Loans (PDF)
ZoomGrants Applicant Slideshow (PDF)
ZoomGrants Applicant Video

Position Open: PWB Is Seeking Qualified Applicants

The Public Works Board is currently recruiting qualified applicants for its broadband program. Click the link below to view qualifications, and to apply.

Commerce Specialist 3 – Project Manager

Public Works Board Broadband Program

Under RCW 43.155.160, the Public Works Board is authorized to provide a competitive grant and loan program for last-mile and middle-mile broadband infrastructure. We are to develop procedures for the application and award process to eligible applicants that include public and private entities. These loans and grants will fund projects that expand affordable, resilient broadband service to enable economic development, public safety, health care, and education in Washington’s communities.

Data specific to broadband infrastructure application, deployment, and attributes must be tracked. A contracted database will compile and maintain this information. Additionally, the PWB is to publish on our website the proposed geographic broadband service area and proposed speeds for each application submitted within thirty days of the close of the application process.

• The PWB is to facilitate objections to submitted applications within thirty days of publishing.
• The PWB may evaluate objections (from an existing broadband service provider), and must consider them in making determinations on applications submitted.

Rule-making will be another top priority to update our WAC and include the broadband program.

The Public Works Board’s broadband program will be developed in cooperation with the Governor’s Statewide Broadband Office.

Broadband Program Development Timeline

The graphic below shows the current anticipated timeline for program development. The PWB is dedicated to making this program a success. To follow through with this commitment, the development process will be thorough and involve coordination with the Governor’s Statewide Broadband Office, the Utilities and Transportation Commission, the Department of Commerce, the Community Economic Revitalization Board, and stakeholders.

Anticipated Timeline for PWB Broadband Program Development

Icon of a broadband tower

January 2020

Broadband Grant and Loan program open application cycle

July 2019 - January 2020

Program and policy development
Stakeholder outreach and rule-making activities

NEW! October - November 2019

Planning cycle open for feasibility studies. Maximum grant request: $50,000

Join the Broadband Email List

Statewide Broadband Account

The Statewide Broadband Account is funded through legislative appropriation, the proceeds of bond sales authorized by the legislature, repayment of loans, or any other lawful source.

In the 2019-21 biennium, the Statewide Broadband Account received a $21.5 million transfer from the Public Works Assistance Account (PWAA) for broadband capital projects, less operating costs to staff the program.

Contact Information

During the development of PWB’s broadband program, questions can be directed to:

Shelley Westall
Broadband Program Director
Phone: 360-725-3162

Jeff Takahashi
Broadband Program Manager
Phone: 360-725-2708