OLYMPIA, WA - Washington state regulators last week approved more than $4 million in state communications funding for small telecommunications companies, enabling continued telephone access in rural communities throughout Washington, including Asotin's TDS Telecom, and Inland Telephone, a service provider for Colton and Uniontown.
The Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission approved 15 companies for the disbursement of state Universal Communications Service (UCS) Program funding, following the extension and expansion of the program by the 2019 Legislature.
Money from the state’s UCS program supports Washington’s small telephone companies serving high-cost rural areas of Washington. To receive funding, a company must demonstrate that, without UCS support, its customers would be at risk of rate instability or discontinued service.
The companies are scheduled to receive state support totaling $4,160,215 to ensure rural access to telecommunications services and infrastructure for broadband within the companies’ service areas over the next year:
• TDS Telecom, Asotin, will receive $133,416.
• Inland Telephone Company will receive $491,619.
• St. John Telephone, Inc., will receive $91,186.
• Kalama Telephone Company will receive $330,705.
• Mashell Telecom, Inc., will receive $234,724.
• Pioneer Telephone Company will receive $168,509.
• Skyline Telecom, Inc., will receive $117,007.
• Tenino Telephone Company will receive $321,457.
• Western Wahkiakum County Telephone Company will receive $369,308.
• Westgate Communications will receive $105,770.
• Whidbey Telephone Company will receive $1,108,422
• TDS Telecom, Lewis River, will receive $181,991.
• TDS Telecom, McDaniel, will receive $322,149.
• Hat Island Telephone Company will receive $3,376.
• Hood Canal Communications will receive $180,576.