Broadband Grows For Ag Industry in Washington State Counties

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“Broadband equity is crucial to enabling rural and underserved communities to participate fully in our state’s overall thriving economy,” stated the Director of the Washington State Department of Commerce, Lisa Brown. Thanks to various grants, the state’s agriculture community is staying competitive, and connected, reports WashingtonAgNetwork.com.

 In an effort to bolster agriculture production of items like apples, cattle, wheat and potatoes, Washington is investing in its farmers. 

Grants awarded to bring broadband access to farming communities include:

  • A $50,000 grant to the Makah tribe in Callam County. An additional $16,667 was provided through CERB (Community Economic Revitalization Board) funds. Some of the grant money has been earmarked to improve wireless communications, and to strengthen connections for emergency services.
  • A $50,000 grant for Okanogan County. The grant will fund the Methow Valley Broadband Action Team Planning Study. The main goal of the project is to study broadband requirements before beginning implementation. The region is currently deemed to be underserved. Okanogan County will also receive $16,667 in CERB funds.
  • A $50,000 grant for the Port of Ilwaco in Pacific County, which is slated to conduct a broadband assessment to take stock of current resources and anticipate future needs. CERB fund of $16,800 were also allotted to this project.
  • A $50,000 grant for the Port of Willapa Harbor in Pacific County. This grant will go towards the Raymond Port Dock Fiber Optic Extension Project. The project involves laying 1,500 feet of fiber cable that will connect the public utilities in town to the industrial sector at the dock. The benefactor of the project is the Harbor Trade and Technology Center (HTTC).  CERB is contributing an additional $32,000.

 Of CERB’s support, Cerb Chairman Randy Hayden said, “In today’s economy, infrastructure is the foundation for economic growth and is critical to many rural communities. CERB’s financing for infrastructure planning and construction provides support for vital projects, which will help grow the local economy in each of these communities.”  

July 30, 2019

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