SPOKANE COUNTY, Wash. – In an effort to expand broadband infrastructure to underserved rural areas, Spokane County has completed contract agreements with Comcast and Ptera. These agreements will create new broadband infrastructure to bring internet services to several rural parts of Spokane County as well as to address digital equity access in both rural and urban communities in our region. Spokane County is committed to encourage, foster, develop, and improve affordable, quality broadband accessibility for underserved, and unserved communities and populations in Spokane County.
Last summer the Spokane County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved a resolution directing $3,000,000 from the Federal American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act - through the ARP sub-category, Broadband Other 5.21, to address challenges with access, affordability, and reliability of broadband services through construction, modernization and broadband access adoption.
RFPs were received from numerous firms with multiple proposed areas of funding. The submitted proposals were evaluated in accordance with Spokane County established ARP policy. The proposals voted on by the Commissioners that scored the highest were:
- Comcast – for development and implementation of hybrid fiber coax technology broadband services in the Chattaroy area.
- Ptera – for the development and implementation of mixed fiber and wireless broadband in the City of Medical Lake.
Mary Kuney, Chair of the Spokane County Board of Commissioners stated, “The ability to expand broadband connectivity and access in our rural communities has been a high priority for Spokane County Commissioners with this one-time ARP funding. These investments will transform the lives of our rural residents and businesses, providing for overall economic growth in the county’s rural areas.”
Spokane County Commissioner Josh Kerns said, “Broadband is the new essential modern utility. The ability to access the Internet and navigate in the digital world has become as much of a life success factor as water, sewer and electricity were in the past. I am pleased that we were able to provide this service to our residents by completing these agreements with our partners.”