Radio Report: House approves Kretz legislation to equitably spread funds to support internet expansion to the entire state
A Republican lawmaker’s bill has received House support to bring more financial support to sparsely populated Washington counties needing improved high-speed internet services. Nic Scott reports.
SCOTT: Representative Joel Kretz said for the purposes of dispersing state low-interest loan and grant packages, the legislation would define frontier counties, with less than 50 residents per square mile.
KRETZ: “It gives us more of a surgical ability to target specific areas.”
SCOTT: Kretz said the goal is to funnel state funding intended for broadband infrastructure expansion into less populated counties.
KRETZ: “In areas that are really underserved – low income generally – a lot of tribal folk that just don’t have any options. And I think, in the future, this will give us a much better method of getting money out to some of our most underserved communities in the state.”
SCOTT: The state Community Economic Revitalization Board provides financial support to local governments and federally recognized Indian tribes, financing the cost to build infrastructure to provide high-speed, open-access broadband service, for the purpose of community economic development.
The legislation is now under consideration in the Senate.
Nic Scott, the state Capitol.
###Washington State House Republican Communications
Broadcast Coordinator: 360.786.7257