Washington is the 16th most connected state in the U.S. The state averages connection throughout, although some areas are much less connected than others. Recently, the reported average statewide speed for Washington was 60 Mbps.
The Digital Divide in Washington
When measuring the digital divide in Washington, the affordability and availability of public broadband must be taken into account. With this in mind, there are a total of 242 providers in the state. Although this is the case, there are 338,000 people in the state without access to a wired connection capable of 25 Mbps download speeds. It should also be noted that there are 529,000 people who currently only have access to one provider, making it impossible for them to switch. Another 103,000 people in Washington have no wired internet provider at all where they live.
When it comes to broadband speeds, 94.6% of Washingtonians have access to wired broadband 25 Mbps or faster, while 92.8% have access to broadband 100 Mbps or faster. On the other hand, only 25.8% of Washingtonians have access to 1-gigabit broadband.
Kirkland came in 1st as the most connected town in the state. Not far behind were the towns of Edmonds, Lynnwood, Mukilteo, and Langley. 100% of the population in all five of these towns enjoy access to affordable broadband and have the option to choose any service.
On the other hand, some of the worst connected towns in Washington were Ardenvoir, Manchester, Laurier, Hay, and Oysterville. None of these towns have access to affordable wired broadband and have limited choices for their services.
The government of Washington is working to improve its broadband infrastructure. The Community Economic Revitalization Board has been actively trying to improve local economic development in communities.
The Washington State Broadband Project has been awarded over $7 million in federal grants since the year 2011 for the Washington State Initiative. An additional $166 million was awarded to broadband initiatives to further connections throughout the state.