Broadband in the Methow

Broadband Community UpdateThe Methow Valley Broadband Action Team (BAT) has been meeting since early 2018 to plan for the Broadband needs of the Methow Valley in a way that preserves the unique culture of the Valley while providing equitable access to all residents and visitors. In order to help us make a case for expanded Broadband access in the Methow Valley, the BAT invites you to complete the Washington State Broadband Office’s speed test and mapping survey. The State will use data to identify underserved areas, prioritizing resources for infrastructure development in order to meet Washington’s goal of universal broadband access by 2024.

In July 2019, the Twisp Public Development Authority (PDA) was awarded a Community Economic Revitalization Board (CERB) grant to conduct a broadband study that will conclude in 2020. TwispWorks was contracted by the Twisp PDA to convene the BAT, coordinate the meetings and administer the grant. Tilson Tech was retained to conduct the study under the advisement of the BAT and you can read their reports here or review this four point summary:

1. The key to broadband infrastructure expansion in the Methow Valley is finding supplemental capital funding to enable deployment.
2. There is no business case to be made for a for profit entity to invest the full cost to deploy fiber to the premise infrastructure, the only infrastructure capable of meeting the state’s broadband policy goal of symmetrical 150 Mbps service to all residents by 2028.
3. The capability and reach of Internet access networks that can be financed entirely by private investment, with no public contribution, is already on display in the Methow Valley.
4. Additional broadband infrastructure with greater capabilities reaching a much greater population will require the infusion of supplemental funding that could come from state and federal grants, subsidies, private investment, and funding from special assessment districts.

Get more information on our rural broadband work here.