Going big on broadband: Historic funding levels and new state report put Washington state on path to accomplish nation’s most aggressive broadband goals and break down digital equity barriers

Screenshot of President Biden tweet from April 5, 2020. The tweet says “Broadband is infrastructure.”
Graphic showing timeline. In summary, 2024 is when all Washingtonians will have access to high-speed internet defined as 25 Mbps for download and 3Mbps for upload. 2026 is when every Washington community has access to 1 gigabit per second service at an anchor institution such as a library. 2028 is when all Washingtonians will have access to 150 Mbps for download and upload.
In 2019, the Washington State Legislature passed a bill to create WSBO within the Department of Commerce. Legislators tasked the office with figuring out how to bring internet access to all Washingtonians by 2024.
Graphic pyramid showing new broadband project support model. From the bottom up it reads Partner, Plan, Fund, Build, Adopt.
Satellite-type image of Washington state showing black, red, yellow and green dots where people took the state’s speed survey. Black dots indicate no service, red dots indicate very low speed, yellow dots indicate low speed,  light green dots indicate medium speed, and darker green dots indicate high speed.
WSBO launched a beta broadband survey and mapping program in April 2020 in partnership with Stevens County-Spokane Tribe Broadband Action Team. In July 2020 the survey expanded statewide. (Source: Survey Results, accessed 4/7/2021)
Light gray graphic map of Washington state with green dots showing where there are active broadband action teams, orange dots showing where teams are forming and blue dots showing where teams are being considered.
Photo showing a small brick building where the Denny Ashby Library is located. The green lawn in front of the building has an orange and white sign advertising the drive-in WiFi hotspot. In the background, near the the library, is a flagpole with an American flag and a gray building across the street.
The Denny Ashby Library in Pomeroy was one of hundreds of drive-in WiFi hotspots installed around the state. WSUE has gathered stories of people who were able to use the hotspots for business and school. They even heard from elected officials and local courts who relied on the hotspots for video conferencing. (Photo courtesy of Washington State University Extension)
Gray graphic with white text listing local teams and projects recognized by the broadband office for their broadband expansion and digital equity work. Organizations listed are Washington State University Extension, WSU Stevens County Extension, Yakima Valley Community Foundation, Yakima County, Better Health Together, Washington State Library, Hoh Indian Tribe, Information Technology Disaster Resource Center, and WSU Whatcom Extension County Office.
WSBO is working to empower local communities in the effort to bring broadband to their communities. WSBO recognized these organizations in 2020 for increasing participation in the State Broadband Survey, bringing communities together to plan and develop broadband projects, and helping close the digital divide.



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Washington State Department of Commerce

Washington State Department of Commerce

Washington State Department of Commerce official news and information. Our mission is to strengthen communities in our state.