Thank you for visiting the Port of Whitman County’s Frequently Asked Questions page regarding Fiber-Optic Infrastructure. To visit the Port’s General Frequently Asked Questions page visit

To learn more about our telecommunications work, please visit

  • What is fiber?
    • Fiber-optic internet, commonly called fiber internet or simply “fiber,” is a broadband internet connection. The technology uses a fiber-optic cable, which sends data by sending light through the glass fibers in the cable. Fiber is different from traditional cable internet that sends information using electricity via copper wire at much slower speeds.
  • I have heard the Port builds fiber optic systems. Can you hook up my house?
    • The Port has the authority to build fiber-optic networks. The Port cannot provide telecommunication services at all, let alone directly to your home. The Port builds the fiber network and leases dark fiber to private sector companies (aka Internet Service Providers) who “light” the fiber and supply end-user services.
  • Why is the Port of Whitman involved in fiber infrastructure in my community?
    • The primary purpose of a port district in Washington State is economic development. The Port of Whitman County has long recognized that high-speed internet service is essential for our rural communities to prosper. Reliable broadband allows families and businesses to enjoy our small-town amenities here on the Palouse while competing in an increasingly connected global market. To that end, we’ve installed hundreds of miles of dark fiber optic cable to bring urban internet rates and speeds to the communities of Whitman County.
  • Can the Port help me with my service?
    • While the Port built the infrastructure and leases the fiber to internet service providers, the Port is not involved in the quality or price of internet service that is provided to residents and businesses. Those types of inquires should be directed to your provider.
  • What internet service provider can I choose?
    • You can choose ANY internet service provider that serves your area. Providers in your area vary from community to community. Any internet service provider can lease the Port’s fiber network. It is up to the internet service providers to advertise, make their presence in your community known, and connect with you, the end-user.
  • When does service begin in my area?
    • Construction of the Port’s system is estimated to be completed in each community in the below table. Service from providers will begin in the weeks following. Updates on when service will begin will be posted to this website.
Community  Construction 
Completion Date
 Earliest Service 
Can Begin
Rosalia  July 30, 2021 August 2021
Palouse  October 15, 2021 October 2021
Garfield  November 1, 2021 November 2021
Tekoa  November 22, 2021 November 2021
Oakesdale  Est. December 13, 2021 December 2021
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Kalvin Johanson
Special Projects Administrator