September 22, 2021 — The Port of Skagit was awarded a $1,000,000 loan and a $1,000,000 grant through the Community Economic Revitalization Board (CERB) to continue its work to bring fiber optic infrastructure to eastern Skagit County.

This low-interest Rural Broadband Program loan along with the grant from the Coronavirus Capital Projects Fund, will support the East County Fiber-to-the-Premise (FTTP) Construction Project.  This project consists of FTTP construction of aerial fiber in Concrete, Lyman, Hamilton, and Marblemount.

“CERB has been a supportive partner for the Port in bringing economic development opportunities to the Skagit Valley,”  said Port Commissioner Bill Shuler.  “ This funding is an important piece of the puzzle as we help bridge the digital divide in the eastern part of our county.”

The Port is working in partnership with Ziply Fiber to construct 22 miles of fiber infrastructure between Concrete and Rockport, with the goal of producing more than 1,200 connections for residents in these areas.  These connections will bring high-speed internet service to these areas of our community, which have previously been unserved or under-served, providing enhanced access and opportunities for economic development, education, and health and safety.

In addition to CERB funding, this construction project has been supported at the state and local levels, including funding from Skagit County, the state Public Works Board and the Port of Skagit.  FTTP construction within the four eastern Skagit County communities is expected to be complete by the end of 2022.