The Washington State Public Works Board is providing more than $18 million in grants and loans to bring broadband internet to unserved communities.
The board is accepting grant and loan applications for broadband infrastructure construction projects through Sept. 9, with $9.1 million available in low-interest loans and $8.6 million in grants, according to a news release.
Cities, towns, counties, public port and special purpose districts, tribes, nonprofit organizations, cooperative associations, and corporations organized for the purpose of expanding broadband access are eligible to apply, according to the release.
Applicants must request local internet service providers’ plans to upgrade broadband service and submit documentation of the interaction at least six weeks prior to submitting a funding application, the release said
Award notification is expected to be in October.
“The Public Works Board is excited to see the construction cycle for our seventh infrastructure system open,” board Chairman Scott Hutsell said in a statement. “Closing the digital divide is a priority for the state and the Board. This is a crucial first step in that process. We look forward to continuing to be a source for infrastructure funding, including broadband, long into the future. After all, infrastructure is the backbone of economic recovery.”
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