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.
Help us identify low or no high-speed internet service areas in Washington state
Internet for All in Washington
The Washington State Broadband Office (WSBO), through consultation with other state agencies and extensive public engagement will develop a Five-Year Action Plan and a state Digital Equity Plan for universal, reliable, high-speed Internet. These two plans will establish eligibility for federal funding to deliver significant investments for the expansion of broadband access and to help close the digital divide in the state of Washington. Learn more about the Internet for All in Washington initiative and how to engage with the Broadband Office.
Statewide Internet for All Washington: Kick-off Event on Wednesday, March 29 at 2 p.m.
The Internet for All Washington: Kick-off Event is an informational webinar aimed at sharing information on the federal Internet for All programs. These programs have created the opportunity for our state to apply for a portion of over $42 billion in grants for broadband infrastructure advancement and $2.75 billion for digital equity initiatives.
Register for the Statewide Internet for All Washington Kick Off Event.
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 and Services
Objections received and WSBO evaluation of the objection
The objection period is closed for existing network service providers to object to an application for broadband construction funding under the WSBO Broadband Infrastructure Grant – ARPA Capital program. Objections demonstrating that the following circumstance will be considered:
- The proposed project will result in overbuild because the objecting party currently provides, has begun construction to provide, or will begin construction within a year of the date that the WSBO awards are issued to provide broadband service to end users at 100/20 Mpbs or speeds equal to or greater than state speed goals (RCW 43.330.536). The WSBO reserves the right to require an objector to provide a bond, letter of credit or other indications of financial commitment guaranteeing the construction project’s completion.
Steps for existing network service providers:
- Review the applicant list, project areas, proposed service delivery speeds, and project area maps.
- Compete the Objection Intake Form.
- Complete the Objection Address Information spreadsheet.
- Submit the completed Objection Intake Form, Objection Address Information spreadsheet, and service area maps to Connie.Rivera@commerce.wa.gov.
Objections must contain all required documentation and be received by February 10, 2023 to be considered.
The WSBO is working with applicants and objecting providers to resolve areas of potential overbuild in proposed projects. Upon completion of this process, awards will be announced. The WSBO anticipates announcing awards in April 2023.
- BIG Recipient Handbook
- BIG Grant Award Recipients (coming soon)
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.
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
A Rapid Design Study is a technical review that provides communities with project information including but not limited to:
- Design analysis, up to 6 different designs, with different configurations of each project, Including 100% fixed Wireless, Various hybrid models, and 100% Fiber to the premise;
- Cost projection;
- Barriers for planned location(s);
- Tribal lands in the project area;
- Number of locations in project area unserved by wireline 25 Megabits per second (Mbps) download and 3 Mbps upload; and
- Follow up with the technical advisor for results of Rapid Design study.
The WSBO has a limited amount of funding to provide communities with Rapid Design Studies to facilitate their buildout of broadband infrastructure. Interested local governments or tribes should contact Connie Rivera at 360-704-9535 or email@example.com for additional information.
The WSBO has a limited amount of funding to provide contracted grant writing services to local governments and tribes seeking funding from a federal agency for broadband infrastructure development. These services cannot be used to apply to state or local funding sources.
This program partners the community with a grant writer to:
- Evaluate project with the community to determine which funding source has the highest probability of success.
- Assist in gathering, editing, and preparing the documentation required for the specific Federal Funding.
- Provide the community with application narratives as needed.
- Support the community to ensure a completed grant application package is submitted on-time.
Interested local governments or tribes should contact Connie Rivera at 360-704-9535 or firstname.lastname@example.org for additional information.
The State Broadband Office, the Public Works Board, and the Community Revitalization Board all fund broadband projects. What’s the difference? Learn more on the Broadband Funding page.
Affordable Connectivity Program and Lifeline
Affordability is a significant barrier for many people when it comes to broadband internet access. The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) and Lifeline are programs designed to assist households reduce their subscription costs. To assist Washington residents in understanding and accessing these programs, the WSBO has created a webpage dedicated to the Affordable Connectivity Program and Lifeline.
Digital Equity Forum
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.
Digital Navigators Program
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.
Municipal Retail Broadband
The Washington Legislature recently enacted two bills related to public entities’ provision of retail telecommunications services to help bridge the digital divide.
Drive-in Wifi Hotspots
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.
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.
Broadband Action Teams (BAT) List (PDF)
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:
Find Your Port — Washington Public Ports Association (washingtonports.org)
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