This article first appeared in the Whitman County Gazette  on July 29, 2021. By Garth Meyer

Malden, Pine City slated to receive fiber optic service

MALDEN — A fiber optic internet network is coming to Malden and Pine City.

The Port of Whitman announced the award of $1.7 million from the Washington State Department of Commerce’s Community Economic Revitalization Board 9 (CERB) for the project.

The design is to be complete by the end of the year with construction to start in early 2022 and finished by the late spring.

The port commits $433,730 in local matching funds for the estimated total cost of $2.2 million.

The work brings broadband internet access to the Malden and Pine City areas.

“The addition of the CERB funds will allow the port to continue to address this infrastructure problem,” said Joe Poire, Port of Whitman executive director.

Broadband access is touted to bring work-from-home, e-learning, online business, telemedicine, and other features as viable options for area residents.