Public/private partnership allowed deployment to go further and faster than what either entity could do alone
Kirkland, Wash. (October 14, 2021) – Ziply™ Fiber and the Port of Whitman County today announced that the ultra-high-speed, 100-percent fiber-optic network built in Palouse is ready for service to the first of the city’s residents and businesses beginning Friday, October 15, with hundreds more following in the next few weeks. The network enables “Gig-speed” or Gigabit fiber internet, streaming TV and fiber-based phone services for the first time in the city, the same services that went live in Rosalia on July 30, as part of a five-city partnership between the Port and Ziply Fiber to build fiber internet in Whitman County. The remainder of the builds in the county – which include Garfield, Oakesdale, and Tekoa – are currently under construction.
“We are proud of this new, state-of-the-art, open-access network here in Palouse and how it will put the city’s internet connectivity on par with major cities across the county and state,” said Kara Riebold, Chief Operating Officer at the Port of Whitman County. “The Port has long championed the open-access model to help close the digital divide and promote competitive services for rural residents, and the people and businesses of Palouse are now able to make that choice thanks to the completion of this new network.”
Residents and businesses will benefit greatly from the significant speed, capacity, and reliability upgrade that fiber internet provides when making video calls, uploading, and downloading content and streaming entertainment.
“The partnership with the Port really allowed us to deploy fiber both further and faster than we could have done on our own and at a cost savings to both of our organizations,” said Harold Zeitz, CEO of Ziply Fiber. “Our core belief has always been that simple, easy access to the internet is fundamentally important for individuals, families and businesses, and not just for those who choose to live in large urban areas. Being headquartered in Washington ourselves, it makes all of us at Ziply Fiber very proud to be able to officially call Palouse the state’s newest Gig-speed city.”
Construction of the new fiber network was supported by the Washington Community Economic Revitalization Board (CERB), which was formed in 1982 to respond to local economic development in Washington communities. CERB’s Rural Broadband Program provides low-interest loans and grants to local governments and federally-recognized Indian tribes, financing the cost to build infrastructure to provide high-speed, open-access broadband service, to rural underserved communities, for the purpose of community economic development.
About Ziply Fiber
Ziply Fiber is local in the Northwest, headquartered in Kirkland, Washington, and has major offices in Everett, Washington; Beaverton, Oregon and Hayden, Idaho. Most of Ziply Fiber’s executive team, which consists of former executives from AT&T, CenturyLink and Wave Broadband, either grew up in the Northwest or have spent the better part of 30 years living here. That local ownership and market familiarity is an important part of the company mindset and culture.
About Port of Whitman County
The Port of Whitman County is dedicated to improving the quality of life for all citizens of Whitman County through industrial real estate development, preservation of multi-modal transportation, facilitation of economic development and provision of on-water recreational opportunities.
Dan Miller, Curator PR for Ziply Fiber Sarah Highfield, Port of Whitman County
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