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Posted on Oct 10, 2017

Letter to the editor: Grant PUD fiber, budget

As a concerned group of Grant County citizens, we believe that your readers will be as concerned as we are to learn that Grant PUD eliminated build-out of new fiber connections from their 2018 budget. The budget maintains service to those that have fiber, but no new service will be connected in the coming year.
Our community group, Grant County Fiber Active, believes that fiber service is a necessity for the future of our county. Without connectivity, businesses, homes and students are completely disadvantaged. Modern agriculture businesses need fiber connectivity to operate effectively. A child’s education suffers when he or she lives in a home without fiber connectivity. Senior citizens and seriously ill individuals need reliable access to online medical support.
Anyone seeking to remain relevant/employed in the 21st century must have access to continuous learning opportunities—online.
We suspect those who have been patiently waiting for 17 years for fiber to reach their businesses and homes will be concerned that the fiber build-out is now on hold — especially when everyone has been paying for the build-out through their electric rates. We need to come together and ask why the PUD cannot find funds for fiber build-out anywhere in its projected $350 million 2018 budget.
Therefore, we invite all concerned citizens to join us at the October PUD Commission budget review meeting: 2-5pm, October 10, at Grant PUD’s headquarters (30 C St. SW) in Ephrata. Thank you.
Mick Qualls, Chair, Grant County Fiber Active Group

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