PUDs providing telecommunications services

Benton | Chelan | Clallam | Douglas | Franklin | Grant
Grays Harbor | Jefferson |  Kitsap | Lewis | Mason #3
Okanogan | Pacific | Pend Oreille | Skagit 

Connecting our Communities

Widely available and reliable access to broadband service is important to our state’s economic health, access to education and essential services, and quality of life.  Public utility districts play an important role in connecting communities by providing access to high-speed broadband service.

In 2000, PUDs were granted the authority to help bridge the digital divide by providing wholesale telecommunications services.  PUDs deploy high speed, robust broadband fiber and offer at-cost, open access to the fiber on a non-discriminatory basis.  In some cases, PUDs use the fiber for their own communications systems and lease high-speed capacity to retail providers. This makes it economically feasible for telecommunications retailers to provide service to end-users in areas that might otherwise not be served. 

In 2018 the legislature granted one PUD (Kitsap County PUD) limited retail broadband authority to provide service when there are no or inadequate retail service providers on the PUD's broadband network. 

In 2019, Broadband legislation passed which included a "safe harbor" provision allowing PUDs to provide temporary retail service (six months) in the event a sole internet service provider discontinues service. 

Fast Facts (based on 2019 data)

  • PUDs have invested more than $509 million in broadband infrastructure.
  • PUDs have installed more than 7,900 miles of fiber.
  • PUD fiber connects more than 51,000 end-users to broadband service.
  • 156 retail internet service providers lease PUD fiber to serve their customers.


Formed by members of the Washington PUD Association, NoaNet offers long-haul transport and last-mile access to wholesale communication providers within a substantial portion of the Pacific Northwest.

More about NoaNet

WPUDA is a member of the U.S. Broadband Coalition, dedicated to enabling America's broadband future

More about the U.S. Broadband Coalition

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