ToledoTel, McDaniel Telephone, Tenino Telephone Among 18 Companies to Receive Share of $4.85 Million to Support Broadband

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ToledoTel, McDaniel Telephone and Tenino Telephone Company were among 18 companies announced Friday due to receive a share of roughly $4.85 million from Washington state Universal Communications Services Program to help support broadband services.

McDaniel Telephone was among eight companies that will receive support through the 2022 fiscal year through their commitment to “deploy broadband services to new locations to meet requirements set by the (state Utilities and Transportation Commission),” a news release from the agency said.

Tenino Telephone was among four other companies that deployed broadband to 1,781 locations with program support during the 2021 fiscal year, and will receive funding to support those services and additional services.

ToledoTel was named among companies that will receive funding to support existing broadband services. The news release states that the companies have “certified that 100% of their existing customers have broadband access, and also (are) committed to expand service to all new locations.”

The Utilities and Transportation Commission oversees the State Universal Communications Services Program and distributes support each year. Any unclaimed funds are carried over to the following year. It is also the state agency charged with regulating the rates and services of telephone companies operating and promoting a competitive marketplace.

The State Universal Communications Services Program provides direct financial support to Washington’s small telecommunications companies that have adopted a plan to provide, enhance, or maintain broadband services in high-cost rural areas of Washington.

The Legislature previously extended the program in 2019, and the program is scheduled to end in 2024, unless extended by the Legislature.