By Karen Robes Meeks
The Port of Bellingham recently received a $50,000 grant from the Community Economic Revitalization Board for a Rural Broadband Feasibility Study. The research will identify which areas in the county are underserved by broadband, explore how to bring that infrastructure to those communities and what is needed to enact a broadband system countywide.
“In Whatcom County we have many rural communities who either do not have broadband access or have it but the speed is inadequate,” said Port Director of Economic Development Don Goldberg. Like water, roads, and electricity, broadband is of fundamental importance to social and economic development. Increasing capacity is essential to the economic growth of Whatcom County.
It will enable businesses in our mostly rural county to thrive and compete in an increasingly digital world. However, investment must not only be in infrastructure but in relevant content services, support, and information literacy development to address inequity and deliver broadband inclusion for all,” Goldberg added. “This grant and study are very important first steps among many in providing broadband to our rural communities.”
Local resources matched the grant funding with $30,000.