Local leaders celebrated the completion of a high-speed Internet broadband expansion project from Blyn to Sequim at the library Friday.
The project, led by Northwest Open Access Network and funded through two federal American Reinvestment and Recovery Act grants, brings high-speed Internet access to under-served schools, hospitals, emergency response agencies, libraries and colleges in 37 counties and lays the groundwork for bringing affordable broadband service to thousands of businesses and households, said Angela Bennink, director of network coordinated services at NoaNet.
Bennink said the high-speed Internet access will allow people to receive and transmit information much faster than they can now.
Port Angeles Police Chief Terry Gallagher said the broadband Internet will allow police officers to view live video footage on their laptops while communicating with other officers and running checks on people through the dispatch center.
“High-speed broadband is the most exciting thing to happen to law enforcement here in my career,” he said.
Public safety in Clallam County will take a giant step forward because of the broadband access, he said.
About 25 people attended the celebration at the Sequim Library, including PUD commissioners Hugh Haffner and Will Purser, Port Angeles Mayor Cherie Kidd, Sequim City Councilor Laura DuBois and Clallam County commissioners Mike Doherty and Jim McEntire.
Purser said the project was noteworthy because it will benefit everyone.
While the PUD doesn’t have the authority to provide residential customers with Internet services, it will provide the broadband access to Internet providers, hospitals and government agencies, he said.
Hospitals will be able to consult medical experts through the Internet, bringing “the best expertise to Clallam County,” he said, calling the project a “movement in the right direction.”
Bennink said local Internet providers who will have access to the broadband include Century Link, CPI, OlyPen, Olympus Net, CressComm, Olympic Wi-Fi, Nicola Engineering and Computer Solutions.
For more information go to www.washingtonbroadband.org.
Reach Amanda Winters at firstname.lastname@example.org.