The City of Anacortes is getting some federal help to pay for its broadband fiber service.

U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Washington, announced Thursday, Jan. 13, that the city will receive a $2.3 million grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration. Cantwell is the chair of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.

The money will go toward the installation of the fiber-optic network that will pass every business and home in the city limits. It will be matched by $563,433 in local funds and is expected to create 157 jobs, retain 120 jobs and create $240 million in private investment.

“In an information age, broadband access is critical to our communities, whether for businesses, accessing health care providers, or remote learning,” she said in a press release. “This $2.3 million grant will ensure all Anacortes homes and businesses have access to high-speed broadband, bringing service to 1,815 homes and supporting economic investment, particularly for the Port of Anacortes and development along Fidalgo Bay.”

U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen, D-Washington, also supports broadband in Anacortes.

“Broadband internet is a critical tool for people and small businesses in Anacortes and Northwest Washington to close the digital divide and drive long-term economic recovery and growth,” he said in a statement. “I will continue to support long-term investments like the bipartisan infrastructure law to ensure Northwest Washington communities and providers have the resources needed to address their local broadband needs and deliver high-speed internet to more people.”

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