State Broadband Office offers $120 million in grants to build “last mile” infrastructure

Grants up to $12 million each offered as Washington state pushes toward goal of high-speed internet access for all residents and businesses by 2028

OLYMPIA, WA — The Washington State Broadband Office is accepting applications now through January 17, 2023 for grants of up to $12 million each for broadband infrastructure construction projects. With $120 million available, the grants target “unserved” areas – defined as areas lacking access to reliable wireline connection service at speeds of at least 100/20 Mbps. Washington’s goal is to provide high-speed internet access for all of its residents and businesses by 2028.

“A strong economy is an equitable economy, where everyone has a chance to reach their potential,” said Washington Commerce Director Lisa Brown. “Access to broadband service and digital literacy are basic necessities for daily life – education, work, healthcare, community services, e-commerce and entertainment. Continued investment in our communications infrastructure and digital equity strengthen communities throughout our state.”

Eligible broadband infrastructure grant applicants include local governments (including public ports and public utility districts), federally-recognized tribes, nonprofit and nonprofit cooperative organizations, and public-private entities led by a public partner. A 10% cash match is required, and applicants must also demonstrate an effort to consult with incumbent internet service providers in their proposed project area prior to submitting an application.

Washington has $120 million available to fund the grants from its share of the federal government’s American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) capital funding allocated to states in 2021.

Complete information and application materials are on the Commerce website.

Application webinar Dec. 6

Prospective applicants are encouraged, but not required, to attend a virtual webinar providing guidance on completing the application. The webinar will be hosted on Zoom from 2 to 4 p.m. Dec. 6.

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