OLYMPIA — The Public Broadband Act, HB 1336, took effect Sunday to help ensure families and businesses throughout Washington state have access to high speed internet.
“Washington state now joins the majority of states that allow unrestricted public broadband. This is long overdue. It will help people across the state have cheaper and better options for internet access,” said bill sponsor Rep. Drew Hansen (D-Bainbridge Island).
“We want to thank Representative Hansen for his leadership and foresight on legislation that was 20 years in the making,” said Washington PUD Association Executive Director George Caan. “His efforts alongside many stakeholders were instrumental in advancing this legislation. HB 1336 is a critical tool in the toolkit to provide communities that are unserved and underserved with access to essential broadband service.”
The Public Broadband Act overcomes a long held restriction on public broadband service by authorizing public utilities and other local government entities to provide broadband directly to Washington state residents. The legislation was signed into law in May.