Press Releases

Jaime Herrera Beutler Secures Federal Funding to Expand Rural Broadband for Lewis County Residents

Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler today applauded news that Lewis County Public Utility District’s (PUD) had secured a $3 million Community Connect grant from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to expand broadband access to underserved and unserved communities in Lewis County.

As a senior member of the U.S. House Appropriations Committee, Herrera Beutler helped secure funding for this Community Connect grant program and successfully worked with USDA last year to fund Lewis County PUD’s grant request for its rural broadband expansion effort.

“Access to reliable internet continues to be an issue for too many residents in Lewis County and other rural communities – many have no access at all. And it’s not only frustrating if you’re running a business or communicating with family and friends, but it’s also a threat to the health and safety of senior citizens, families, and others who can’t access telehealth or other important internet-based resources. Expanding broadband access in communities like those in Lewis County is vital; it’s why I worked in Congress to strengthen rural broadband grants and it’s why I was pleased to go to bat alongside Lewis County PUD to bring these federal dollars back here,” Herrera Beutler.  

“Lewis County PUD is excited to have received this grant award from the USDA, and appreciates Congresswoman Herrera Beutler’s support of this project. We hope this will be one of several more state and federal broadband grant awards to come as the PUD works to deploy broadband infrastructure to the communities which need it,” Willie Painter, Public Affairs Manager for Lewis County PUD said.

The $3 million Community Connect grant will aid the PUD in constructing broadband infrastructure as a fiber-to-the-premises, open-access network that will serve up to 340 residents and commercial customers from Chehalis to Adna, and down through the Boistfort Valley.