Construction is underway on an expansion that will bring roughly 1,000 miles of high-speed broadband Internet service to nearly every unserved community in Washington State, reveals Northwest Open Access Network (NoaNet).
NoaNet is initiating construction on two federal American Reinvestment and Recovery Act grants totaling $140 million to bring high-speed Internet access to hundreds of schools, hospitals, emergency response agencies, libraries, colleges, and universities across Washington state and to lay the ground work for bringing affordable broadband service to thousands of businesses and households.
"This broadband initiative will create immediate jobs during construction and attract economic investment to rural areas that have struggled from limited access to broadband," says Greg Marney, chief executive officer of NoaNet.
"I'm so glad that the work to expand broadband access to rural communities across Washington state is now underway," says Senator Murray. "The work that NoaNet is doing is a major step forward in ensuring that a person's ZIP code won't limit their access to learning, high-quality health care, or a chance to grow a small business."
The new broadband service will make enhanced 911 services available to virtually every inhabited location in the state. The ability to transfer real-time data over wireless networks will allow EMTs to communicate with hospital physicians en route from injury sites, dramatically improving response times when receiving medical treatment in the "golden hour" after injury improves chances of survival by 90 percent, says a representative.
The new broadband infrastructure will create a network reaching more than 170 communities and 2,000 schools, hospitals, emergency responders, libraries, colleges, and universities, including:
- Connecting 34 community colleges creating opportunities for collaboration on research and information exchange.
- Making remote diagnoses, enhancing professional training with reduced travel, and making it possible to provide immediate assessment and guidance to emergency workers via videoconferencing.
- Enabling businesses to use credit/debit card systems, automated inventory and fulfillment systems, and web sales that are not currently available or extremely limited.
- Giving farmers the ability to participate in commodities trading.