Internet service is about to get substantially better in Point Roberts.
Last month, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that Whidbey Telecom was awarded a $1 million Community Connect Grant to connect underserved residents and businesses to high-speed broadband Internet in pene-exclave community.
The USDA grant is part of the Biden Administration’s $5.2 billion investment to build and improve access to high-speed Internet, clean water, and reliable electricity in rural communities across America.
Whidbey Telecom will use the grant to construct a Fiber-to-the Premises network to benefit residents and businesses in a currently underserved area. Subscribers will have access to broadband service, expanding access to economic, educational, health care, and public safety opportunities.
“This is just the start; this grant gives our friends and neighbors in Point Roberts astonishing access to the fastest, most reliable Internet possible. Whidbey Telecom is ready to get to work, we have a great local team that has been hard at work on the design and planning of this project, and this award is the fruit of the team’s labor,” stated George Henny, Co-CEO of Whidbey Telecom.
“We are deeply rooted in Point Roberts, to be able to support Point Roberts with this federal grant application, and now to see all of the hard work of your Point Roberts local team culminate with this grant award is such an honor,” added Donna Hilty, COO of Whidbey Telecom. “We are committed to delivering high-speed Internet to our local communities, and this funding will allow us to continue to build out the Point Roberts fiber network. We have additional grant opportunities to apply for in the spring and will be reaching out to our County and State representatives for their support.”
Back on Dec. 20 Rep. Rick Larsen met with Henny and Hilty to further discuss broadband infrastructure investments. This meeting, coupled with the grant reward, demonstrates the company’s commitment to building a future-proof fiber network to better serve the homes and businesses of Point Roberts.
Whidbey Telecom is the only local provider in Point Roberts and on Whidbey Island offering a fiber-optic network to residential and business customers with synchronous upload and download speeds up to a Gig. Like the South Whidbey fiber construction project, the Point Roberts project will be a multi-phase, multi-year endeavor.