Latest Washington state broadband infrastructure funding will connect residents of 14 communities currently lacking reliable high-speed internet service
The Washington State Broadband Office awarded $145 million in Infrastructure acceleration grants to help provide broadband connections to unserved and underserved communities and Tribal nations.
OLYMPIA, WA — The Washington State Broadband Office today announced funding for 13 construction projects that will deliver reliable, high-speed internet access in 14 communities when completed. The $145 million in Broadband Infrastructure Acceleration grants move Washington another step closer to its ambitious goal of connecting all residents of the state to broadband infrastructure by 2028.
“Infrastructure is the foundation for digital equity. From education and healthcare to e-commerce and community services, the daily essentials needed for people and our economy to thrive are increasingly found online,” said Washington Commerce Director Lisa Brown “Washington state’s goal is to ensure all of our residents have access to affordable high-speed internet, as well as the devices, skills and confidence needed to connect with critical resources.”
Broadband Infrastructure Acceleration Grants conditionally awarded, pending final contract execution, are as follows:
- Lewis County – $23.5 million, estimated project completion by Dec. 31, 2026
- Clallam County – $20.27 million, estimated project completion by Dec. 31, 2023
- Spokane Tribe of Indians – $16.8 million, estimated project completion by Dec. 31, 2024
- Snohomish County – $16.7 million, estimated project completion by Jan. 31, 2024
- Washington independent Telecommunications Association – $14.86 million for two sub-projects serving Mason and Island Counties, estimated project completion by Dec. 31, 2024
- King County – $11.8 million, estimated project completion by Jan. 31, 2023
- Adams County – $10.3 million, estimated project completion by Dec. 1, 2023
- Public Utility District #1 of Jefferson County – $9.7 million, estimated north fiber project completion by Dec. 1, 2024
- Nisqually Indian Tribe – $6.77 million, estimated OAN Phase II project completion by Dec. 31, 2023
- Lincoln County – $5.2 million, estimated Connecting Lincoln County project completion by Dec. 31, 2023
- Confederated Tribes of the Colville – $4.09 million, estimated broadband acceleration project completion by Dec. 31, 2024
- Port of Bellingham – $4 million, estimated Whatcom County expansion project completion by Dec. 31, 2024
- Port of Whitman County – $1.06 million, estimated project completion by Dec. 1, 2023
“This grant from the Washington State Broadband Office will be transformative for our families, businesses, and educators in Snohomish County, especially those still recovering from the SR-530 landslide,” said Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers. “Broadband deserts are seriously risking the health and welfare of our residents, and this grant will bring the SR-530 corridor economic, educational, health care, and cultural benefits. I appreciate the partnership with the Snohomish County Council and our Broadband Action Team, who spearheaded our efforts to secure this grant.”
“Broadband infrastructure and access to high-speed internet service is critical to residents, businesses, schools, hospitals and public safety in Lewis County. This is a big step in addressing the areas that are unserved or underserved, bringing us one step closer to closing the digital divide,” said Lewis County Commissioner Lindsey Pollock, DVM.
Applicants requested more than $413 million for 36 different projects. Applications for a second round of grants to award an additional $120 million will open later this spring. A complete list of all project applicants from this round and a map of funding by county are available at www.broadband.wa.gov.
Input from stakeholders is instrumental in shaping how the office distributes funds, according to Ann Campbell, manager of infrastructure programs for the Washington State Broadband Office, noting that local community broadband organizing groups are a focal point for this effort.
Campbell said for this funding round the office prioritized projects that would deploy service in unserved areas, or areas lacking access to reliable (wireline connection) service at speeds of at least 25 megabits per second (mbps) download and 3 mbps upload (25/3). The selected projects will offer speeds of 1 gigabit per second symmetrical service unless otherwise precluded by topography and geography. The National Telecommunications Industry Association standard specifies all new projects must deliver transmission speeds of 100/100 mbps upon completion unless impracticable due to geography, topography or financial cost.
To learn more about the work of the Washington State Broadband Office, including the Digital Equity Forum, funding opportunities, the statewide Access and Speed Test Survey, Emergency Broadband Benefits for consumers and more, visit www.broadband.wa.gov.