Broadband Construction FAQ
Broadband Terminology

PWB Broadband
Eligible Applicants

Public Entities:
• Cities and Towns
• Counties
• Public Port Districts
• Public Utility Districts
• Other Special Purpose Districts
• Quasi-Municipal Corporation
• 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.


Geographic distribution of PWB broadband planning and construction awards.
Click to enlarge

Scoring Criteria for All Broadband Program Applications
Distressed Areas List

Broadband Construction Application Results

On October 23, 2020 the Public Works Board approved $17,828,760 in funding for Broadband Construction Grants and Loans. The ranked list of applications and awards is available here.

To view the applications received for this cycle, please click here.

Note: The PWB Broadband Program is engaged in an extensive after action review of this loan and grant cycle. This may result in significant changes to future applications and scoring criteria. Therefore, the applications shared may not reflect future expectations and processes.

Broadband Planning Assessment Survey

In order to determine the unserved broadband need in Washington, the Public Works Board is seeking responses to the Statewide Broadband Planning Assessment Survey.  The survey will help the PWB plan for training and focus support for specific areas: feasibility, pre-construction planning, and construction.

By understanding where you are with your broadband planning and projects, the PWB is able to better define overall need and develop a clear picture to communicate to our Legislative partners.

Broadband Construction Grant and Loan –
Cycle Closed

The Public Works Board Broadband Construction Grant and Loan program focuses on activities that provide broadband internet to unserved areas of the state. The division of grant and loan funds available is determined by legislative statute. Please refer to the application guidelines for the funding methodology.

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

Threshold Criteria Checklist 
Broadband Construction Grant and Loan Application Overview (PDF)

Training –
Broadband Construction Application Workshop (Video)
Broadband Construction Application Workshop PowerPoint (PDF)
Using ZoomGrants to Apply for Public Works Board Loans (PDF)
ZoomGrants Applicant Slideshow (PDF)
ZoomGrants Applicant Video

Potential applicants please note:

RCW 43.155.160 (5) (o) requires applicants for PWB Broadband Construction grants and loans to contact local Internet service providers (ISPs) near the proposed project area to request their plan to upgrade broadband service in the project area to speeds that meet or exceed the state’s definition of broadband service within the time frame of the proposed project. This contact must be made a minimum of six-weeks prior to the submission of an application for funding from the PWB, and documentation of this interaction must be submitted with the application.

2019 Planning-Feasibility Study Grant Awards

On December 6, 2019 the Public Works Board approved $450,000 in funding for Broadband Planning-Feasibility Study Grants.

For the ranked list of applicants, click here.

Planning-Feasibility Study Grants
Cycle – Closed

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)
Broadband Planning-Feasibility Application Preview (PDF)  

Feasibility and Outreach Grant 
Cycle – Closed

Broadband Feasibility and Outreach grants support public outreach and engagement activities that establish and galvanize community-based efforts to bring broadband infrastructure to unserved areas. Community-based efforts, such as Broadband Action Teams, are essential to ensure that community needs are met in planning for broadband expansion.

Broadband Feasibility and Outreach Grant Application Guidelines (PDF)
Broadband Feasibility and Outreach Grant Application Preview (PDF)

Project Manager

Project managers are here to assist you in making your project a success. The Project Manager for PWB Broadband is:

Sheila Richardson
Broadband Project Manager
Phone: 564-999-1927

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.