Public/private partnership demonstrated how faster, further deployment was more feasible than what company or Port could do on their own
Kirkland, Wash. (December 9, 2021) – The Ribbon Cutting ceremony hosted today by the Port of Whitman County was more than simply a celebration of the construction of fiber internet in rural Whitman County. The Port, in conjunction with Ziply™ Fiber, announced that the ultra-high-speed, 100-percent fiber-optic network that Ziply has been building in Oakesdale as part of a five-city public/private partnership is officially scheduled to launch on Mon., Dec. 20.
This new fiber network – the fifth and final piece in a series of high-speed networks built by Ziply Fiber for the Port – will enable “Gig-speed” or Gigabit fiber internet and phone services to hundreds of residences and businesses for the first time in the city. These are the same services that recently launched in Rosalia, Garfield, Palouse and Tekoa, the other four cities that, along with Oakesdale, make up the five-city partnership between the Port and Ziply Fiber to build fiber internet in Whitman County.
“We are thrilled that Oakesdale soon will become Washington’s latest ‘gig-speed’ city. Completion of this project has been something we’ve all been working hard to achieve and we’re proud to be able to deliver on our mission to connect the people and businesses in our cities with reliable broadband internet and phone services,” said Kara Riebold, Chief Operating Officer at the Port of Whitman County. “The open-access model that the Port has put in place is one that we believe will provide an excellent set of service options to our residents, not only here in Oakesdale, but also across all of the cities we’ve recently launched.”
Residents and businesses will benefit greatly from significant speed, capacity, and reliability upgrades that fiber internet provides when making video calls, uploading, and downloading content and streaming entertainment.
“This is an exciting moment for us, but not just because we’re about to bring Oakesdale’s fiber network online in a little more than a week’s time,” said Harold Zeitz, CEO of Ziply Fiber. “Working with the Port of Whitman County for the past several months has demonstrated the benefits of private industry and the public sector working together. By combining resources, we were able to deliver fiber to more addresses further and build faster. The biggest beneficiaries will be the residents and businesses in these cities, who will have access to gig-speed fiber internet service for the first time.”
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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