WA: EcliptixNet Awarded $20 Million for Washington Broadband Project

21 Sep, 2010

Enables 4G service offering in Ferry, Stevens and Spokane Counties

EcliptixNet Broadband was awarded $20.4 million today through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Utility Services program. The grant enables EcliptixNet to offer 4G high-speed broadband service through fixed and mobile wireless connections to over 90 percent of rural Ferry, Stevens and Spokane counties.

Roughly 3,627 Washington businesses, 202 community institutions and over 68,000 people stand to benefit once the service infrastructure is completed. The project is expected to create 236 jobs initially, and will provide a foundation for economic growth and job creation in the area for decades to come.

"This is the kind of investment in our infrastructure that has real results for Washingtonians," said Gov. Christine Gregoire. "This project creates jobs, enables educational opportunities and enhances healthcare benefits for area residents."

"Broadband expands and improves delivery of education and healthcare services in our rural communities and it’s a crucial springboard to new business opportunities and jobs," said Rogers Weed, Director of the Washington State Department of Commerce. "There are plenty of entrepreneurs who embrace the quality of life outside of our urban centers, many of whom may only need an available broadband connection to launch, relocate or expand a business venture."

This award brings the total amount of USDA grant money for projects in Washington to $61 million. Other infrastructure grants from the National Telecommunications and Information Institution’s Broadband Technologies Opportunity Program (BTOP) are still pending. If awarded, these grants will increase broadband infrastructure in Washington’s poorest and most remote counties.