The Washington State Broadband Office of the Department of Commerce awarded $300,000 in grants to five local state technology planning teams that will spend the next year improving broadband access around the state.
The grant money will be used in six counties and 10 tribal communities across the state.
“These grants are part of the state’s commitment to economic development in rural and underserved communities in WashingtonState,” Washington Governor Jay Inslee said. “Local technology planning teams will identify their own broadband needs and strategies for increasing access and adoption where they live. The results will go a long way to assisting job creation efforts already under way.”
The work must be completed by June 30, 2014, as part of the agreement set forth in the application process. The Broadband Office said that the successful proposals showed community or region wide collaboration on program that included everything from e-commerce and web development for small businesses to a region-wide project for underserved tribal lands.
The funding for the grants comes from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act through the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program administered by the National Telecommunications and Information Agency.
- Washington State University was awarded $56,000 to leverage broadband needs assessment activities already begun in Jefferson and Clallam counties.
- Lincoln County was awarded $26,880 to address educational challenges and economic development opportunities in Lincoln County by increasing broadband access and use.
- Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians Tribal Technology Team was awarded $94,000 to provide broadband and communications planning to Washington State Tribes including needs assessment, infrastructure/services inventory and gap analysis.
- Walla Walla Valley Chamber of Commerce was awarded $64,000 to partner with the Intelligent Community Forum, a think tank that focuses on broadband centric economic and social development strategies and leverage their expertise through its Community Accelerator Program.
- Klickitat-Skamania Local Technology Planning Team was awarded $60,000 to provide community identified broadband training and address gaps in infrastructure through partnerships with our region’s governments, providers, communities and businesses and increasing access to broadband via public hotspots.