BEAD :$1.2 B
Treasury Capital Projects Fund: $195.7 M
The Statewide Broadband Office is housed within the Department of Commerce. But the leader of the office is appointed by the governor.
Funding for broadband:
The state legislature enacted a law in 2019 that established the state broadband office. The law defines broadband as networks that provide internet service at speeds of 25 Mbps for downloads and 3 Mbps for uploads. It also detailed the responsibilities of the office, among other things.
The law established funding mechanisms to help get broadband deployed to high cost, unserved areas.
Washington's broadband funding is administered through grant programs at the state broadband office and through grants and loan programs at the Community Economic Revitalization Board and the Washington State Public Works Board.
However, it's the broadband office that is administering federal funds from the American Rescue Plan Act.
The office is awarding $266 million in broadband infrastructure grants in two funding rounds: One was in October 2021 and the other was April 2022.
More details and information are available at the Washington State Department of Commerce's web site.
The state is also convening a series of Digital Equity Listening Sessions throughout 2022 until October 2022. The goal is to solicit input from tribal representatives and other unserved, underserved, and historically disadvantaged communities on how to help them make the most of the opportunities offered by broadband.
The state plans to develop strategic and digital equity policy recommendations for the state legislature by based on these series of listening sessions by January 2023.