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.
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.
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
Images from the groundbreaking ceremony for the Northern Hood Canal Fiber Extension Project. This project is funded by a National Telecommunications and Information Administration Broadband Infrastructure Program grant received by the Washington State Broadband Office.
The WSBO has completed its review of applications received and the provider objection process. We are pleased to announce the 2023 Broadband Infrastructure Grant – ARPA Capital award winners.
- Broadband Infrastructure Grant – ARPA Capital Recipient Handbook
Materials associated with the application cycle, ratings and the objection process:
- Port of Bellingham – Ziply Challenge Final Decision
- Pend Oreille PUD – RTI Challenge Final Decision
- Whatcom PUD – Whidbey Telephone Company Challenge Final Decision
- Ferry County – Friends of the Television Association of Republic Challenge Final Decision
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.
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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: email@example.com
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