High-speed broadband aims to benefit entire peninsula

Northwest Open Access Network received an additional federal grant of more than $3 million to extend open access high-speed broadband service to nearly every corner of the Olympic Peninsula.

The benefits include job creation, economic investment in rural areas and high-speed Internet access to northwest Washington schools, libraries, emergency responders, hospitals, government agencies, businesses and low-income individuals.

The peninsula is part of a broader effort involving

$45 million in participant contributions and nearly $140 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act federal grants to construct more than 1,300 miles of new fiber optic cable, delivering enhanced, wholesale broadband service to 538,559 households and 103,230 businesses in 55 economically depressed communities across Washington.

The expanded service will make enhanced 9-1-1 services available to virtually every corner of Washington.

The ability to transfer real-time data over wireless networks will allow emergency medical personnel to communicate with hospital physicians en route from accident sites, dramatically improving response times.

NoaNet is leading this effort on behalf of a consortium of more than 60 private, governmental, tribal and nonprofit participants.

NoaNet, headquartered in Tacoma, is a nonprofit mutual corporation providing wholesale telecommunications transport.

For more than 10 years, it has operated a reliable public open-access broadband communication network totaling over 1,831 fiber miles that provides rural areas access to broadband services, supporting 61 last-mile providers that serve more than 260,000 customers.

NoaNet's members include Clallam County Public Utility District, 11 other public utility districts and a joint operating agency that have served wholesale customers in the state since 2000.

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