Grays Harbor PUD broadband fiber project study set for East County

The Grays Harbor PUD will look at expanding broadband fiber in East County.

This month, the Washington State Public Works Board awarded $450,000 in grants for broadband planning-feasibility study projects to nine communities across the state.

This includes a $50,000 grant to the Grays Harbor PUD for a feasibility study of expanding the PUD fiber network in East Grays Harbor from Elma to the Chehalis Tribal Center. 

In all, the Grays Harbor study will look into a project to extend the fiber network from Sund Road in South Elma to the Cedarville substation and the surrounding area, including Porter, the City of Oakville and the Chehalis Tribal Center.

 When built, the system is said to benefit emergency responders, cities, schools and residents by bringing improved broadband services to the area.

In a statement from the Public Works Board, board chair Scott Hutsell said, “This is another step toward accomplishing the governor’s vision of all Washington residents being served with quality broadband access. In our modern society, access to broadband internet is a vital resource that touches all aspects of life from personal health and safety to education and economic welfare.”

The board reported receiving applications requesting $775,000 for 16 different projects. 

In all, nine applicants were selected to receive a total of $450,000 for broadband planning-feasibility studies. 

The Shoalwater Bay Tribe had a $50,000 request for a project that was not selected.

The board says they approved all projects that scored above the minimum rating threshold.

The awarded projects are as follows.

Jurisdiction Project Name Award
Jefferson County PUD Phase 2 – Business Plan Development $50,000
Port of Ilwaco Pacific County Broadband Feasibility Planning $50,000
Town of Skykomish Broadband Feasibility Planning Study $50,000
Grays Harbor PUD Cedarville/Oakville $50,000
Pend Oreille County PUD North Pend Oreille County Feasibility Study $50,000
Port of Ridgefield Port of Ridgefield $50,000
Ellensburg Business Development Authority Centerfuse Broadband Expansion $50,000
Northwest Open Access Network Grandview Broadband Feasibility Study $50,000
Port of Skagit Sauk-Suiattle Tribe Dark Fiber Optic Needs Assessment and Feasibility $50,000
Total: $450,000

Visit the Public Works Board webpage for more information on the board and its programs.