Extending fiber networks near Quincy
Expanding internet access in partnership with local utility
Grant County Public Utility District (Grant PUD) received $200,000 from Microsoft to help extend Grant PUD’s fiber network to the community of George, Washington. As the last incorporated community in the Grant PUD service area without fiber service, the potential impact to the community is great.
Prominent economic challenges within the community combined with the rural location of potential users makes providing reliable internet access a challenge. Through the George project, facilities such as the women’s shelter and community center will have broadband access. Students who currently can’t receive internet service in their homes will now have the connectivity needed to complete homework without leaving their house.
Grant PUD is also partnering with local ISPs to identify unique barriers to entry and develop programs focused on increasing community access to broadband service. This investment supplements the work Grant PUD has undertaken over the last 10 years to build a high-speed broadband network in its service area. The Grant PUD fiber project provides coverage to 70 percent their service area, but 30 percent of their service area—the most difficult to reach—is still without high-speed broadband access.
Microsoft is engaged with Grant PUD, local ISPs, and education leaders to explore solutions to address affordability issues in Central Washington.