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Posted on: September 17, 2018

Port to Apply for Rural Broadband Funding

The Port’s Economic Development Division is submitting an application to Washington State’s Community Economic Revitalization Board (CERB) for a broadband planning grant to help make high-speed internet more accessible to unserved and underserved communities in Whatcom County.


If awarded, the grant will provide partial funding for a rural broadband feasibility study to be completed in 2019 which will include:

  • A needs assessment identifying areas in Whatcom County with the least amount of broadband service
  • A gap analysis defining additional broadband infrastructure necessary to provide service
  • An implementation plan with estimated construction costs
  • An assessment of municipal procedures, polices, rules, and ordinances that may impact broadband infrastructure construction and implementation
  • A strategy for digital inclusion to include affordable internet, affordable equipment and digital literacy training


Broadband infrastructure is becoming increasingly important for community and economic development. Hospitals, schools, emergency services, and businesses all have ongoing and growing needs for high-speed internet services. If successful, the Port’s CERB application will support the extension of a high-speed, open access fiber optic network to rural areas of Whatcom County to the benefit of citizens and businesses.


This is the Public Notification of the Port of Bellingham's submittal for the CERB grant.  For questions, please contact the Port’s Economic Development Division at (360) 676-2500. The Port will work with community partners and stakeholders throughout the rural broadband feasibility study process.


CERB is a state board focused on economic development through job creation in partnership with local governments.    

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