(1) The governor may take all appropriate steps to seek federal funding in order to maximize investment in broadband deployment and adoption in the state of Washington. Such steps may include the designation of a broadband deployment and adoption coordinator; review and prioritization of grant applications by public and private entities as directed by the national telecommunications and information administration, the rural utility services, and the federal communications commission; disbursement of block grant funding; and direction to state agencies to provide staffing as necessary to carry out this section. The authority for overseeing broadband adoption and deployment efforts on behalf of the state is vested in the department.
(2) The department may apply for federal funds and other grants or donations, may deposit such funds in the Washington community technology opportunity account created in RCW 43.330.415
, may oversee implementation of federally funded or mandated broadband programs for the state and may adopt rules to administer the programs. These programs may include but are not limited to the following:
(a) Engaging in periodic statewide surveys of residents, businesses, and nonprofit organizations concerning their use and adoption of high-speed internet, computer, and related information technology for the purpose of identifying barriers to adoption;
(b) Working with communities to identify barriers to the adoption of broadband service and related information technology services by individuals, nonprofit organizations, and businesses;
(c) Identifying broadband demand opportunities in communities by working cooperatively with local organizations, government agencies, and businesses;
(d) Creating, implementing, and administering programs to improve computer ownership, technology literacy, digital media literacy, and high-speed internet access for populations not currently served or underserved in the state. This may include programs to provide low-income families, community-based nonprofit organizations, nonprofit entities, and public entities that work in partnership with nonprofit entities to provide increased access to computers and broadband, with reduced cost internet access;
(f) Creating additional programs to spur the development of high-speed internet resources in the state;
(g) Establishing technology literacy and digital inclusion programs and establishing low-cost hardware, software, and internet purchasing programs that may include allowing participation by community technology programs in state purchasing programs; and
(h) Developing technology loan programs targeting small businesses or businesses located in unserved and underserved areas.
Effective date—Purpose—2011 1st sp.s. c 43:
See notes following RCW 43.19.003
Findings—Intent—Purpose—Effective date—2009 c 509:
See notes following RCW 43.330.400