RCWs 53.08.005, 53.08.370, and 53.08.380 allow Ports and PUDs to build telecommunications infrastructure and offer it wholesale to service providers. Under these provisions, the Port has worked to develop a telecommunications plan and infrastructure to facilitate enhanced telecommunications services countywide. The Port works with Whitman County’s independent telephone companies, when invited and where feasible, to create infrastructure that helps local providers enhance telecommunications services offered to rural communities.
Since May of 2000, the Port has partnered with multiple telecommunications carriers that are providing at least two broadband choices to citizens countywide. The Port communicated its willingness to partner with and provide infrastructure for all local telecommunications providers. The Port has run fiber at the Port of Wilma and the Pullman Industrial Park, facilitating competitive pricing and services to tenants.
The Port continues to look for creative ways to develop infrastructure, form partnerships, and link network in order to provide affordable, state-of-the-art telecommunications opportunities through the Whitman County telephone providers and their respective small service bases.