Broadband Internet Update: Request for Testimonials

A message from your Internet Access Ad Hoc Committee

Dear Neighbor,

The Skagit County Broadband Action Team (BAT) is requesting your help in support of their application to Washington State Broadband Office Infrastructure Grants, to bring affordable broadband service to our community.

Please take a few minutes to write a testimonial describing your need for high speed internet and how the lack of reliable and affordable services has impacted you and your family – and/or how reliable and affordable internet would enhance your quality of life.

These testimonials are vitally important in supporting and enhancing the grant application with real citizen accounts of need.

Points to make in your letter:

  • Are you a property owner and taxpayer?
  • Do you have access to internet?
  • Have you tried different carriers or types of internet?
  • Is your current internet adequate for your (or your family’s) use and or need?
  • Do you have issues with internet connectivity, reliability, or stability?
  • Is your internet affordable or does it pose a financial burden?
  • Has your job/livelihood, education, health, safety, or quality of life been negatively affected by your (inadequate) internet service?
  • How will affordable, reliable internet service improve your quality of life if available?

The following is a template/example you may use for your testimonial, just change the details to tailor to your situation. Your testimony will be attached to the grant proposal.

All testimonials are due via email before January 12, 2023. Please send testimonials to Linda Tyler at LindaT@portofskagit.com.

In addition, one of your neighbors came across the following:

Department of Commerce—Mark Barkley, Commerce Assistant Director, reported on a national broadband mapping effort release by the Federal Communications Commission on November 18, and encouraged all to participate in the effort (https://broadbandmap.fcc.gov/home).

And when they visited the website and input their address, they were informed that Sound Internet Services(POGO) claims to provide fiber internet to their address. We encourage you to check your own address, and if you are listed for having internet access through POGO (or otherwise) contact them for more information or to challenge the accuracy of the data, as it may be used in informing grantmaking.

Thank you!


Date: todays date
To: Skagit County Broadband Action Team
Attn: Sara Young, Port of Skagit Executive Director
RE: Washington State Broadband Office Infrastructure Grant

I am writing on behalf of (myself, family or organization) located in the Colony Mountain Community of rural western Skagit County. Our family has lived here for 20 years and are property owners and tax payers. We are active community members and volunteer our time….

Due to our location we do not have access to high speed internet via cable or cellular services. We have tried different carriers, and currently use a monthly satellite service, that is limited, but others are too expensive for our family’s budget.

While we greatly enjoy living in this community, the lack of high speed internet has limited our ability to work from home, and was an extreme burden during the pandemic. Our children also need to access the internet for school assignments and communication which is not always possible with our current service.

It is our understanding that over a decade our community has tried to convince Wave Broadband to extend their service throughout our community but they have refused citing high costs and lack of infrastructure. As a small rural community we don’t have the ability to make up the cost difference or make infrastructure upgrades.

Having reliable and affordable broadband in our community would greatly benefit all of us to function in today’s internet dependent world.

Thank you for your consideration,
Name
Contact Information

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