Washington State Broadband Office
In recognition that broadband access is critical to the residents of Washington, RCW 43.330.532 establishes the Washington State Broadband Office and tasks it with promoting access and achieving download/upload speed goals for residences, businesses and communities.
FCC Broadband Mapping
The Washington State Broadband Office, Community Economic Revitalization Board and Public Works Board are encouraging the public to review and verify or challenge the information for their location on the recently published FCC National Broadband Map. The accuracy of this map is critical for future broadband funding allocations. Step by step guidance has been made available.
Broadband Infrastructure Funding
The WSBO is happy to announce that the cycle for federal grants through the ARPA Capital program is open from 11/22/2022 through January 17, 2023. ARPA Capital funds focus on critical capital broadband projects that deliver broadband access to unserved populations.
- Units of local government
- Federally recognized tribes
- Nonprofit organizations
- Nonprofit cooperative organizations
- Multiparty entities comprised of a combination of public entity members or private entity members lead by a public entity.
For more information and to apply, please use the following links:
- Broadband Infrastructure Grant – ARPA Capital guidelines
- Broadband Infrastructure Grant – ARPA Capital application webinar
(12/6/2022 from 2:30 to 4:00 PST)
- WSBO Broadband Constrcution ZoomGrants Portal
Applications will be accepted until midnight on January 17, 2023. Rating and ranking will begin on January 18, and awards are anticipated on February 28, 2023. There is a provider challenge period from January 20 through February 10, 2023.
This application cycle would not be possible without the participation of communities, local governments, tribes, and private businesses..
The State Broadband Office finalized the list of projects that have been selected for funding in our first round of Infrastructure Acceleration Grants. A second round of funding will become available later this spring.
The WSBO is one of 13 projects awarded funding from the NTIA Broadband Infrastructure Program. Washington will receive $30 million for last-mile fiber and last-mile wireless projects that aim to overcome barriers to broadband access and connectivity in five rural counties of the state: Ferry, Jefferson, Kittitas, Okanogan and Stevens, serving an estimated 7,196 unserved households. These counties were selected following through a 2019 assessment – part of our collaborative work between WSBO, Public Works Board and CERB to provide universal high-speed internet access throughout the state by 2024.
The WSBO has matching grants available for federal broadband infrastructure financing opportunities. Matching fund applications will be accepted on an ongoing basis for local partners applying for federal broadband infrastructure funding (grants or loans). Match grant awards will be committed on a first-come, first-served basis to eligible applicants whose projects are strong candidates for the federal funding opportunity sought. Match awards may not exceed $5 million or 25% of the federal grant amount sought, whichever is less.
Eligible applicants include local governments, federally recognized Tribes, nonprofit organizations and nonprofit cooperative organizations, and public-private partnerships
The State Broadband Office, the Public Works Board, and the Community Revitalization Board all fund broadband projects. What’s the difference? Learn more here: https://www.commerce.wa.gov/building-infrastructure/broadband-funding/
The WSBO and the Office of Equity are partnering to hold a Digital Equity Forum to advance digital equity in Washington. The Forum will host At-large meetings and community listening sessions through 2022.
The State Broadband Office has partnered with four community organizations to bring trusted guides who assist community members in internet adoption and the use of computing devices.
In response to the impacts of COVID-19, Drive-In WiFi Hotspots provide free temporary, emergency internet access for Washingtonians who do not have broadband service to their homes.
Affordable Connectivity Program
Get help paying for internet
1. Learn about the Affordable Connectivity Program
Congress created the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), a new long-term $14 billion program that replaced the Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) Program in March 2022.
Households enrolled in the EBB Program as of 12/31/21 will be emailed information about how to re-enroll to the ACP program from their internet service provider. New households wanting to enroll can find a list of participating service providers on the FCC webpage.
What changed Dec. 31, 2021?
- The maximum monthly benefit changed from $50 per month to $30 per month for households not located on qualifying Tribal lands. The monthly benefit remains at $75 per month for households on qualifying Tribal lands.
- Households can qualify for the ACP in several ways:
- Having an income at or below 200% of the federal poverty guidelines;
- At least one person in the household receives benefits from one of the following federal assistance programs: Medicaid, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Supplemental security Income, federal Public Housing Assistance (FHPA), or Veterans Pension and Survivors Benefit;
- At least one person in the household is in the free and reduced price lunch program or the school breakfast program; or
- At least one person in the household has received a federal Pell Grant in the current award year.
2. Lifeline Program
Lifeline is a federal program that provides a $9.25 monthly benefit for income-eligible subscribers on monthly telephone service, broadband service, or voice-broadband bundled services. Households on federally recognized Tribal lands can receive up to $25 per month in addition to the standard benefit of $9.25.
Households are eligible for Lifeline if:
- The household income is 135% or less of the federal poverty guidelines;
- If someone in the household participates in SNAP, SSI, Medicaid, FPHA, or the Veterans Pension and Survivors Benefit; or
- The household is on Tribal lands, meets income requirements, and someone in the household participates in any of the federal assistance programs listed above or other tribal assistance programs.
Broadband Action Teams Information
Broadband Action Teams (BAT) are community-driven collaborations that identify the connectivity and accessibility needs for their communities. A BAT can help a community:
- Centralize the broadband conversation and direct engagement to the State Broadband Office.
- Assist statewide digital equity and inclusion efforts and represent community technology and accessibility needs.
- Connect participants to collaborative project goals.
- Bring early awareness of community projects to funding opportunities.
Please note that not all counties have an active Bat. Not seeing your BAT on this page? Please email email@example.com to have your group listed!
When will broadband service be available at my location?
There is no single “right” answer to how broadband reaches a community. Every community approaches broadband in their own way and at their own pace as resources allow. Here are a few suggested places where you can make local contact to ask about what plans may be in place for your community.
Contact your local elected officials: Look on your county/city/town website for contact information for commissioners and other elected officials.
Your community may have a port, and the port may be working on broadband. See if your community has a port here:
Your community may have a public utility district, and the public utility district may be working on broadband. See if your community has a public utility district here:
FAQs (wpuda.org) (scroll down to find a list of PUDs)
The Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission may have additional information. Get started here:
Email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
To enrich the lives of all Washington state residents and businesses by ensuring they have access to affordable, reliable, redundant and scalable/future proof broadband technologies ensuring the economic viability of both urban and rural Washington state today and into the future.
State speed goals
It is the goal of the state of Washington under RCW 43.330.536:
- By 2024: 25/3 megabits per second (Mbps) scalable to all residences and businesses
- By 2026: 1/1 gigabit per second (Gbps) all anchor institutions
- By 2028: 150/150 Mbps all residents and businesses
Public Works Board – State Broadband Infrastructure Funding
CERB – Rural Broadband Construction and Planning Funding
2.5 GHz Rural Tribal Window: How to File
USDA ReConnect Loan and Grant Program
ReConnect Program Eligible Area Map
USDA Community Connect Grants
USDA Distance Learning & Telemedicine Grants
NTIA Comprehensive Guide to Federal Broadband Funding