A new website from the Washington State Broadband Office has been designed to help you locate those answers. Click on broadband.wa.gov or wabroadbandmapping.org — and find your location on the interactive map.
The interactive map reveals, among many things, what broadband coverage is like on the Washington coast, if you’re heading there for vacation. Or, alternately, how would that compare with Internet access across the state in Spokane.
How does your Wa. state geo-location translate to Internet access speed? The website includes a speed test for checking your Internet connection. Also viewable are maps of “advertised download speed” from 3mps to 100 mbps.
Thank President Obama if you appreciate the broadband initiative. The Washington State Broadband Office gets some of its funding through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 — perhaps better known as the big bailout. [24×7]
NoaNet Bringing Broadband, Jobs to Unserved WA Communities
Can’t find your place in the sun on the maps above? Washington residents with little or no access to broadband Internet will soon see a change. The Northwest Open Access Network (NoaNet), a nonprofit wholesale communications company based in Tacoma, plans to install over 1,000 miles of broadband infrastructure in unserved, rural areas around the state.
The project, which will cost an estimated $183 million, $140 million of which was provided by two federal grants as part of the American Reinvestment and Recovery act, will create immediate jobs during construction and attract economic investment to rural areas that have struggled from limited access to broadband
NoaNet has already kicked off the project and said that, once completed, the broadband network will reach more than 170 communities and 2,000 schools, hospitals, emergency responders, and libraries. The installation will be concentrated in the rural western portions of the state, including coastal regions such as Clallam and Pacific Counties, and rural areas east of the Cascades, from Colville to Walla Walla. Construction is expected to be completed within three years. [24×7]
Facebook’s “awesome” announcement last week centered on video chat technology powered by Internet phone company Skype.
The feature was developed by employees at Facebook’s Seattle office, said company CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who visited the office last week.
The feature has huge implications for Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft, which is in the process of acquiring Skype for $8.5 billion. Microsoft also owns a piece of Facebook, investing $240 million in the company in 2007. [24×7]