The state of Washington Public Works Board has awarded over $20 million for broadband projects. The awards came in the form of loans and grants and will go to six entities.

Awardees include two public utility districts, Okanogan County Electric Cooperative and the Spokane Regional Broadband Development Authority, as well as 116-year-old Whidbey Telecom and newcomer fiber and wireless provider Klick Networks. Both Whidbey Telecom and Klick Networks are based in the state.

The biggest winners were Okanogan County Electric Cooperative, which will receive $5 million (including a $3.5 million loan and $1.5 million grant) and Whidbey Telecom, which will receive nearly $4.5 million (including a $3.7 million loan and $764K grant).

Whidbey previously won funding from NTIA for a middle mile network in the state, and the new project also includes middle mile infrastructure, along with last mile infrastructure.

The two public utility districts – the Jefferson PUD No. 1 and the Okanogan PUD No. 1 — each won about $4 million for fiber-to-the-premises deployments. Both entities received funding, in part, through a loan and, in part, through a grant.

The Spokane Regional Broadband Development Authority won a $2 million loan for the South Spokane County Rural Towns Open Access Mid-mile Connectivity project.

Klick Networks won $800K (including a $560K loan and $240K grant) for an FTTH build.

The Washington State Public Works Board (PWB) was established in 1985 to “encourage self-reliance by local governments in meeting their public works needs and to assist in the financing of critical public works projects by making loans, grants, financing guarantees and technical assistance available to local government for these projects,” according to a press release.

The public works board has approximately $1 million in emergency broadband funding remaining.

“With favorable loan terms, below-market interest rates and grant availability, the PWB makes funding affordable for those communities with little or no reliable broadband service and for the infrastructure fundamental to a high quality of life for all Washingtonians,” said PWB Chair Kathryn A. Gardow in a prepared statement.

The PWB is not the only government entity in Washington that makes funding available for broadband. The Washington Broadband Office also has that responsibility.

Additional information about the new Washington Public Works Board awards can be found in this press release.

Additional information about Washington broadband, including links to state funding resources, awardee lists and previous Telecompetitor coverage, can be found on the Telecompetitor Broadband Nation webpage for the state.

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