NoaNet wraps up middle-mile expansion in Washington state

Northwest Open Access Network (NoaNet), a Tacoma, Wash.-based wholesale consortium, announced it has completed the nearly 1,000-mile expansion of a broadband fiber middle-mile network connecting numerous rural markets and unserved areas of Washington state.

NoaNet began construction on the project almost two years ago after it received two federal American Reinvestment and Recovery Act grants worth about $140 million. The just-completed project fulfills the obligations of the first grant, while an additional 600-mile expansion specified under the second grant is scheduled to be finished this summer. NoaNet is just one of many middle-mile network operators that has been able to grow its network under the federal broadband stimulus funding program that is more often associated with last mile providers.

The new broadband service will, among other things, connect 50 local libraries throughout the state, as well as expand public safety access to critical emergency and healthcare services to the hardest-to-reach locations in the state. The enhanced broadband system will also increase availability and viability for using broadband to transfer real-time data over networks, allowing hospital physicians to communicate with EMTs en route from injury sites.

NoaNet members include several local utilities in the state of Washington, and the group counts among its constituents more than 60 private, governmental, tribal and non-profit participants.

For more:
- here's the press release

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NoaNet began construction on the project in June 2011
Bridging the rural telco middle mile divide