Broadband effort hits the wall

An effort to improve broadband availability on Whidbey and Camano islands will not move forward.

Ron Nelson, director of the Island County Economic Development Council, recently learned that the Washington State Department of Commerce did not approve its application for a $50,000 grant.

“It’s disappointing but that doesn’t mean we aren’t going to try again next year,” Nelson said.

The EDC, working in collaboration with the Island County Washington State University Extension Office, was hoping to use the money to fund a study that would determine where broadband is available as well as what people need.

It’s hoped that such information will pave the way for additional infrastructure to increase broadband availability in the county. That in turn would help boost economic development and improve local quality of life.

Nelson said he has asked for feedback from the state about its decision. Once that comes in, he said he will get together with WSU-Extension officials to how they might refine their efforts for another attempt in 2013.


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