PUD 3 Supports Broadband for All Act

The Mason PUD 3 Commission voted Tuesday to support a bipartisan broadband bill introduced by U.S. Representatives Derek Kilmer (D-WA) and Elise Stefanik (R-NY). Commissioners adopted Resolution 1714, “A resolution in support of H.R. 6442, the Broadband for All Act.”

The “Broadband for All Act” would allow tax credits for citizens who participate in neighborhood groups and pay the shared cost of extending broadband to their communities.

There are literally thousands of Mason County residents that have asked PUD 3 how it can help bring high speed broadband to unserved or underserved areas of Mason County. The PUD Fiberhood program is one answer to this dilemma.

“This ‘Broadband for All Act’ is a perfect fit for PUD 3’s  Fiberhood program,” said Justin Holzgrove, telecommunications and community relations manager. “For those in the PUD’s designated Fiberhood areas, this will help them cover a good share of the individual cost of extending service to designated unserved, or underserved areas of Mason County. In addition, were pleased to have adopted a low-income discount program today that, in partnership with our internet service providers, will mean added opportunities for high-speed internet access.”

To pay for the extension of gigabit broadband service to communities and homes, Fiberhood participants pay a $25 “construction adder” each month for 12 years. It shows up on the bill from the customer’s internet service provider.

Under Kilmer & Stefanik’s bill, Fiberhood participants could take a 75 percent tax credit to cover costs of extending broadband service.

The bill (H.R.6442) would make Fiberhood customers eligible for a 75% tax credit on their “construction adder” charges, greatly cutting the cost to hook up.

“We’re asking our customers and community leaders to lend their support to the ‘Broadband for All Act,’’ said Holzgrove. “It will help bring much needed high-speed broadband services to rural areas throughout the country.”

Backers can register their support for the bill by visiting: www.pud3.org/broadbandforall.

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