Internet access in rural areas can be hit or miss, but one Washington legislator is hoping to fix that.


Representative Mary Dye of Pomeroy said 200,000 rural Washingtonians are stuck with slow internet or no access at all.


“While kids and teachers wait patiently to be connected to a broadband network while donated Chromebooks go unused in homes in Rosalia because there is no bandwidth to use a Chromebook, telecoms have no market incentives to build fiber networks there.”


Dye’s legislation would provide port district the authority to provide necessary infrastructure to bring broadband to rural Washington.


Dye said this is something rural residents have long been waiting for, bringing 3,000 pages of complaints to a committee hearing this week as evidence.


“If there is no will to build, the ports have the ability to facilitate that construction, making more capacity available to private telecommunications.”


The bill has to be through committee by next Friday, so Dye hopes that it will be fast tracked.

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