Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $2.3 million grant to the city of Anacortes, Washington.
This project will support the installation of broadband infrastructure throughout Anacortes, expanding high-speed internet service to all of the city’s households, and providing additional connectivity to local businesses, schools, and healthcare facilities. This EDA project, to be matched with $563,433 in local funds, is expected to create 157 jobs, retain 120 jobs, and generate $240 million in private investment.
“Many American communities continue to lack reliable, high-speed broadband service,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo. “Internet access provides people with access to life-saving technologies, remote learning, economic opportunities, and numerous other benefits. This award reaffirms President Biden’s commitment to increasing internet accessibility in rural and island areas of the United States, and build upon the critical investments we will make to expand broadband thanks to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.”
“The Economic Development Administration is pleased to support the city of Anacortes as it seeks to enhance the area’s economic vitality,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo. “This project will deliver improved internet access for the residents and businesses of Anacortes, increasing economic opportunity and quality of life.”
“I’m thrilled the Economic Development Administration is supporting Anacortes’ innovative local solution to provide quality and affordable broadband service,” said Governor Jay Inslee. “I visited Anacortes in 2018 when this project was just getting off the ground, so I’ve seen firsthand how this community has worked to bring reliable high-speed Internet to its students, businesses, and the public. This federal funding is a testament of the power of local leadership to meet the unique needs of the Anacortes community, and I applaud everyone in Anacortes who helped make this award possible.”
“Having access to high-speed internet should be like having running water or electricity – yet getting online has been a tremendous challenge for many people in Washington state,” said Senator Patty Murray. “This federal award will make a real difference in the lives of families, students, and workers in Anacortes who have often struggled to find a reliable broadband connection, while also creating quality jobs and growing the local economy. This is a critical step towards coming out of this pandemic stronger, closing our state’s digital divide, and building an economy that works for everyone in Washington state.”
“In an information age, broadband access is critical to our communities, whether for businesses, accessing health care providers, or remote learning,” said Senator Maria Cantwell. “This $2.3 million grant will ensure all Anacortes homes and businesses have access to high-speed broadband, bringing service to 1,815 homes and supporting economic investment, particularly for the Port of Anacortes and development along Fidalgo Bay.”
“Broadband internet is a critical tool for people and small businesses in Anacortes and Northwest Washington to close the digital divide and drive long-term economic recovery and growth,” said Congressman Rick Larsen (WA-02). “I will continue to support long-term investments like the bipartisan infrastructure law to ensure Northwest Washington communities and providers have the resources needed to address their local broadband needs and deliver high-speed internet to more people.”
About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (www.eda.gov)
The mission of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation’s regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA invests in communities and supports regional collaboration in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.