Partnering with the Port

The Port of Bellingham and the Public Utility District (PUD) both have the authority to develop broadband networks and provide broadband services. 

Under an Interlocal Agreement, the agencies have formed a partnership to support the extension of broadband infrastructure to unserved and underserved areas in Whatcom County. The Port and PUD work collaboratively through a Broadband Steering Committee on policy, strategies, and funding opportunities.

Click on the link below for the Port of Bellingham’s Broadband Program Webpage:

https://www.portofbellingham.com/982/Broadband

Washington State Broadband Office News

WSBO Call for Comments
September 15, 2022

The Washington State Broadband Office (WSBO) is preparing for the second and final round of funding under monies made available by the American Recovery Plan Act. While the second round will not be released until sometime in November of 2022, with this notice, WSBO is soliciting comments on important issues that will inform WSBO in crafting scoring requirements for the Fall Notice of Funding Opportunity (NoFO) as well as certain other considerations that are important in the process of administering grant monies.

  • First, the WSBO would like to receive comments from possible applicants on questions regarding open access and how it should be considered in an evaluation process.
  • Second, WSBO would like to hear from potential applicants on the possible scoring associated with financial matches in an evaluation process.
  • Third, WSBO would like to know if, and how, potential applicants will use considerations of digital equity to select between possible projects.
  • Fourth, WSBO would like to hear opinions regarding the challenge process.
  • Fifth, WSBO would comments on the definition of Last Mile service.
  • Last, WSBO would like to include a checklist of various considerations that are not intended to be scoring criteria, but rather, guidance to applicants regarding considerations that might be made in preparing project applications.

Responses to the questions shown below are due by October 4, 2022.

Click on the link below for complete Call for Comments information:
https://www.commerce.wa.gov/programs/state-broadband-office/wsbo-call-for-comments/

PUD Commission Response

At its September 27, 2o22, Commission Meeting, the Board responded to draft answers provided by staff.  A formal cover letter and response addressing the Call for Comments will be finalized and published here prior to the October 4, 2022 deadline.

Broadband Planning Report

Learn more about the mapping tools, data and sources, and targeted funding used compile information on Broadband Planning in Whatcom County.  This website/report highlights the methodology by which the PUD measures address level broadband availability and adoption data for Whatcom County, Washington.  by clicking on the link:

Whatcom County Broadband Planning

Broadband Survey~~Thanks for your input, Whatcom County!

The PUD and the Port of Bellingham collaborated on an updated Broadband Needs and Gap Assessment to gather information from the public about broadband/fiber networks in Whatcom County.  The assessment included a survey which will enable the two agencies to apply for grants and other sources of funding to be used to continue to build a broader fiber network in high needs areas.

The survey ended June 20, 2022, and we thank you for your input!  Watch this webpage for news and updates.

Questions:
Gina Stark, Port of Bellingham: email
Andrew Entrikin, Public Utility District:  email