More than 50 miles of high speed fiber optic line has been added to the Benton PUD broadband network, thanks to a $1.8 million grant from the federal government's Broadband Technology Opportunities Program awarded in July 2011 as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
Benton PUD, in partnership with Northwest Open Access Network, recently completed the construction of 50 miles of fiber optic line to south Benton County.
This newest addition provides high speed Internet service to the Paterson School District and provides the infrastructure for other fiber-optic services. The grant also enabled Benton PUD and NoaNet to work with the cities of Richland and West Richland to construct a new fiber optic line to the Mid-Columbia Libraries branch in West Richland.
NoaNet partnered with more than 50 public and private organizations including public utility districts, ports, tribes, cities, counties and competitive carriers to secure $140 million in funds to expand broadband services across the state of Washington.
Benton PUD, Franklin PUD and Energy Northwest are founding members and three of the eleven owners of NoaNet.