Help us identify low or no high-speed internet service areas in Washington state

Washington State Broadband Office

In 2019, the Washington Legislature enacted Second Substitute Senate Bill 5511, recognizing that broadband access is critical to the residents of Washington. The legislation established access and download/upload speed goals for residences, businesses and communities.

Our mission
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.

It is the goal of the state of Washington under RCW 43.330.536:

  • By 2024: 25/3 megabits per second (Mbps) scalable
  • By 2026: 1/1 gigabit per second (Gbps) all anchor institutions
  • By 2028: 150/150 Mbps all residents and businesses

Broadband Infrastructure Funding

The State Broadband Office has two upcoming listening sessions to discuss our Spring round of Infrastructure Acceleration Grants. 

NOFO Listening Session May 17th

NOFO Listening Session May 18th

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. 

Fall 2021 Infrastructure Acceleration Grants Award Winners

Fall 2021 WSBO Acceleration Grants Map

Fall 2021 Funding Cycle Full Application Materials (Closed)

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.

NTIA Award Breakdown

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

State Broadband Matching Grants

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/

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.

Affordable Connectivity Program

Logo of the Federal Communication Commission's Emergency Broadband Benefit 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.

Bat List (Excel)

Please note that not all counties have an active Bat. Not seeing your BAT on this page? Please email devin.gombosky@commerce.wa.gov to have your group listed!

Need help?

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:

Companies | UTC (wa.gov)

Email us at: wsbo@commerce.wa.gov