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Cantwell Announces $250,000 for TRIDEC's SWIFT Broadband Project in Senate Spending Bill

Broadband successes touted at roundtable discussion at Three Rivers Convention Center in Kennewick

Saturday, September 25,2004


SEATTLE, WA – During a roundtable discussion today with local businesses and community leaders, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) announced that she secured $250,000 in a Senate spending bill for TRIDEC's Southeastern Washington Interface Facilities for Technology (SWIFT) broadband project. The project aims to fully link the Tri-Cities with broadband service, hoping to spur economic development and make the region attractive for high-tech businesses. The $250,000 will complete the circle of broadband for the Tri-Cities, making broadband Internet for small businesses, schools, and others both faster and cheaper.

SWIFT is a project combining the efforts of TRIDEC, local public utility districts, businesses, and governments to help expand broadband access for the Tri-Cities. This access will increase the region's broadband connectivity and provide more affordable options to Tri-Cities' residents, businesses, and schools.

“One of the best investments that government can make is to help leverage local actions taken by citizens, businesses, and governments,” Cantwell said. “SWIFT's focus on IT infrastructure is a solid investment for a bright economic future. This is a great public-private partnership that focuses on economic development for the Tri-Cities.”

Cantwell received an update on the success of the broadband project during a roundtable discussion with members of TRIDEC's IT Taskforce, local officials, and business leaders.

Following the roundtable, Cantwell toured the new Three Rivers Convention Center, which has directly benefited from SWIFT.

The funds were included in the Senate version of the fiscal year 2005 Veterans Affairs and Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Bill, which passed the Senate Appropriations Committee. Cantwell hopes the House of Representatives will also approve funding for the project.

Cantwell, a former computer software executive, is a member of the Senate Commerce Committee and its Communications Subcommittee, which deals extensively with technology and broadband policy issues.