Governor’s committee to review broadband project proposals

Office of Governor Chris Gregoire:

With $7.2 billion on the table nationally, the state will review proposals to improve broadband connectivity and adoption for Washington communities. Funding is awarded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act as competitive grants.

“Broadband connectivity lets public safety agencies share information, grows Washington businesses, improves the effectiveness and quality of health care, makes it possible for students to build job skills through remote education and allows all of us communicate with the world,” Gov. Chris Gregoire said. “These are vital elements of a robust economy and a key to our future prosperity.”

The federal government has provided each state a window of opportunity to prioritize those applications that best serve its interests. Every application that proposes a project in the state will be reviewed by the Washington State Department of Commerce for its potential to create sustainable jobs and stimulate economic growth for the state. Applications will also be reviewed at the federal level for their ability to serve areas defined as unserved and underserved.

Gregoire has assembled a committee composed of senior industry experts to further review the applications. The committee will use the objectives of the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program and the recommendations described in the Governor's Broadband Advisory Council Report as guidelines to ensure that each application receives equal and fair consideration at the state level. Members are:

· Arthur A. Butler, a shareholder with the Seattle office of Ater Wynne law firm, whose practice focuses on telecommunications issues, including regulatory, transactional and business advice to competitive telecommunications providers and end users.

· Bill Gillis, an applied economist with more than 25 years of experience in academics, government and business, and a former member of the Washington State Utilities and Transportation Commission.

· Bruce Easter, a Seattle attorney who has spent most of his career engaged in communications and media matters, and who most recently worked as general counsel for an Internet search company

· Russell Daggatt, a private investor and technology adviser in Seattle who has worked extensively as an executive for technology and global commerce companies, and has diverse experience in the practice of law.

· Tren Griffin, a strategist in Advanced Strategies and Policies at Microsoft, who has also held senior positions with numerous telecommunications companies.

An unofficial list of broadband funding applicants with projects in Washington is available at http://broadband.dis.wa.gov/docs/BTOP_WA_ApplicantList.pdf.

article originally published at Office of Governor Chris Gregoire.

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