Washington state scores $196M in Capital Projects Funds

The U.S. Department of Treasury on Friday awarded $195.7 million from the Capital Projects Fund (CPF) to Washington state, which the state said will help connect approximately 33,000 locations to high-speed broadband.

Washington plans to divvy the funds across three broadband infrastructure programs, with the bulk of the CPF money ($118.5 million) going towards Washington’s State Broadband Office grant program. That program aims to connect communities without any kind of internet service as well as those lacking access to speeds of 25 Mbps downstream and 3 Mbps upstream.

The state will also allocate $43.7 million to its Public Works Board program as well as $23.8 million towards the Community Economic Revitalization Board Rural Broadband Program – both of which support broadband expansion in rural and Tribal areas.

Washington said the $196 million is its entire CPF allocation and the state estimates that investment will serve approximately 8% of locations still lacking high-speed internet access.

According to the Treasury Department, it’s now doled out $7 billion out of the CPF’s $10 billion allotment across 45 states. Meaning the federal government has dished out roughly $2 billion in CPF funds since March.

“This funding is a key piece of the Biden-Harris Administration’s historic investments to increase access to high-speed internet for millions of Americans and provide more opportunities to fully participate and compete in the 21st century economy,” said Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Wally Adeyemo in a statement.

The Treasury Department began awarding CPF allotments to states last June. ISPs that use CPF funding are required to participate in the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), the federal government’s $30 per month subsidy for low-income households.

Washington state’s CPF award comes a few weeks after the state’s broadband office announced grant awards for Ziply Fiber along with several cooperatives and public utility districts. The 19 projects are set to cover 14,794 locations across the state.

Separately, the White House on Monday plans to announce state allocations for NTIA’s $42.5 billion Broadband Equity, Access and Deployment (BEAD) program. Earlier this month, NTIA dished out $930 million as part of its Enabling Middle Mile Broadband Infrastructure Program.