OLYMPIA – Washington’s long-held restriction on public utilities offering public broadband service directly to residents is one step closer to being overturned after the House voted 60-37 to pass the Public Broadband Act (HB 1336). The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Drew Hansen (D-Bainbridge Island), spoke to the need to expand public broadband, especially in light of the pandemic.
“We heard from families, parents, public utility districts, and health care providers, all asking for public broadband,” said Hansen after floor passage. “We need cheaper, faster internet for every community in our state. Broadband is an economic driver, a necessary component of modern medicine, and plays a vital role in modern life. I’m grateful to my colleagues for their bipartisan support of the Public Broadband Act and ask that my Senate colleagues work to get this bill to the governor’s desk.”
HB 1336 now heads to the Senate for its consideration.