Cantwell Applauds $2.4M Grant for Rural Broadband in Mason County

Funding will help extend broadband service to 250 households, businesses in Mason County

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA), the Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, applauded the announcement that Mason County Public Utility District (PUD) 3 will receive $2.4 million in federal funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to extend gigabit broadband service to the unserved Three Fingers area in rural Grapeview, Washington. 

“High speed internet and broadband services are integral to continued economic growth in Mason County,” Senator Cantwell said in a letter of support for the funding. “This project will provide a tremendous benefit to a community without broadband service and once completed, will retain existing jobs and facilitate the growth of new jobs in Mason County.” 

The Three Fingers Rural Broadband Project will extend service to approximately 250 households and businesses in the region. Mason County PUD 3 will provide middle-mile and last-mile fiber-optic service to each premise in the community by installing nearly 18 miles of underground facilities needed to serve the area. 

Cantwell has long fought for more robust, efficient, and cost-effective broadband connectivity for rural communities. Last year, she called on USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue to support the Three Fingers Rural Broadband Project, arguing that access to reliable high-speed internet connectivity helps enhance public safety, education, economic development, and access to health services. 

The funding comes from USDA’s ReConnect Loan and Grant Program, which provides federal funds for the costs of construction, improvement, and acquisition of facilities and equipment needed to provide broadband service in rural areas.