The Nisqually Indian Tribe has received a $50,000 grant to study the feasibility of establishing a broadband high-speed internet network in the region surrounding the Nisqually.
On Sept. 17, the Washington State Community Economic Revitalization Board (CERB) approved $750,000 in low-interest loans and $350,000 in grants “for economic development, public infrastructure development, and economic feasibility studies targeting business growth, job creation and broadband development” to three rural communities, including the Nisqually in Thurston County.
The Nisqually grant — termed the “Nisqually Broadband Regional Feasibility Study” — will fund research and review of a fiber-optic open access network in an area that encompasses Tenino, west to Interstate 5, and the surrounding areas north to the Olympia Airport.
The study will analyze the concept of the project, financial feasibility, permitting requirements, the regional market and sustainability. The Tribe’s grant is matched by $16,667 in local resources, a press release from the state Department of Commerce indicated.
“CERB is an essential partner with local public and private investors in strengthening Washington’s rural communities,” said Washington State Commerce Director Lisa Brown. “Infrastructure development, especially expansion of broadband, is critical for an equitable statewide economic recovery that provides access to opportunities for all.”