Microsoft helps bring high-speed internet to George

Funding will help bring additional connectivity to customers and businesses through fiber service

EPHRATA, Wash. – Microsoft will contribute $200,000 for the buildout of Grant PUD's wholesale fiber-optic network in the George area, Grant PUD commissioners learned Tuesday.

Since 2006, when it opened a data center in Quincy, Microsoft has supported community projects in Grant County, from human services, to environmental programs, and beyond. "The City of George is the only incorporated city in Grant County that does not have access to fiber-optic service, and we're eager to help change that," said Mike Miles, General Manager, Microsoft Cloud Infrastructure and Operations (MCIO), whose community development team is working in partnership with Grant County PUD.

Microsoft's contribution is a benefit to not only those living in George but for customers throughout Grant County, said commission president Terry Brewer. "With this partnership, we can bring our wholesale fiber-optic service to the community of George and also maximize our resources to expand fiber optic service in other locations in the county," Brewer said. "We are excited about this partnership and that we are able to achieve our mutual goal of bringing high quality fiber optic service to more customers in Grant County."

"High-speed internet is rapidly transforming how we work, farm, and educate our children," said Lisa Karstetter, manager Microsoft TechSpark Washington, a program that fosters greater economic opportunity and job creation. "It's Microsoft's privilege to help bring broadband to residents and businesses in our community."

Fiber service is available to about 70 percent of Grant PUD's customers. In the coming weeks, Grant PUD will finalize its schedule for deploying fiber optic service to George and announce plans for fiber expansion to other areas in the county. Grant PUD's commissioners set aside $7 million in the 2018 budget for fiber-optic expansion.

To learn more about getting connected to Grant PUD's high speed network, visit grantpud.org/customer-service/high-speed-network.

Established by local residents over 75 years ago, Grant PUD generates and delivers energy to millions of customers throughout the Pacific Northwest. What began as a grassroots movement of public power has evolved into one of the premiere providers of renewable energy at some of the most affordable rates in the nation. For more information visit www.grantpud.org or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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