Darrington nonprofit working to offer internet access

DARRINGTON — A new group here aims to offer affordable internet in a rural area the founder says has been underserved by big-name providers.

The Darrington Internet Users Association got its nonprofit designation earlier this month and recently voted in a five-person board of directors. They hope to work with larger companies that would let the group connect to existing infrastructure, such as fiber optic cables. The details have not been finalized, and service isn’t in place yet. The goal is to offer new internet options within a year.

The project started when Jacob Kukuk, 28, moved from Arlington to the Swede Heaven neighborhood near Oso and struggled to find reliable internet service. His background is in technology and software. He began talking to neighbors about their internet frustrations, he said.

“We thought rather than have it owned by a large corporation, why don’t we make the people who are going to use it the owners of the internet service provider?” he said.

So far, 21 people have paid $150 to become shareholders, he said. They voted in a governing board Aug. 25.

The plan is to charge different monthly rates for residential users, businesses or low-income households.

“We’re going beyond what a private carrier would provide and we’re taking a social approach,” Kukuk said.

He compares internet carriers to a spiderweb, a vast, interconnected network of threads linked to the world wide web. A major provider such as Google, Frontier or AT&T may let smaller providers, such as the Darrington Internet Users Association, pay to add or use a thread on their network in order to bring service to a new area, especially when the smaller provider doesn’t pose much competition, Kukuk said.

The plan is to work with a large provider that can offer a designated fiber optic cable connecting from Seattle to Arlington and then to towers near Darrington, where the signal could be picked up through units mounted to the sides of homes. Kukuk estimates that would cost about $200,000. The group is seeking grants, donations and shareholders who would vote on a formal agreement that lays out what level of service is to be provided to customers.

The vision is to offer internet from Arlington Heights through Oso and Darrington, then out toward the Sauk-Suiattle Indian Reservation.

More information is available online at diua.org.

Kari Bray: 425-339-3439; kbray@heraldnet.com.

Talk to us

More in Local News

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Lake Stevens in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
Everett boy, 12, identified as Davies Beach drowning victim

Malachi Bell was one of three swimmers in distress Sunday in Lake Stevens. He did not survive.

Everett
Port of Everett hosting annual open house after pandemic hiatus

Also, Rustic Cork Wine Bar plans to open a second shop at Fisherman’s Harbor — the latest addition to the port’s “wine walk.”

Granite Falls
Granite Falls man died after crashing into tree

Kenneth Klasse, 63, crashed June 14. He was pronounced dead a week later. Police continued to investigate.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Lake Stevens in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
Motorcyclist dies in crash near Lake Stevens

Around 10 p.m., a motorcyclist and a passenger car crashed north of Lake Stevens. The man driving the motorcycle died.

Food forum
Cool down with these summertime drink recipes

Refresh yourself with two light, refreshing drink recipes.

Rev. Eugene Casimir Chirouse, pictured here holding a cross at front right in 1865, founded a boarding school for Indigenous students on Tulalip Bay. It became one of the first religious schools in the country to receive a federal contract to educate Indigenous youth, with the goal of assimilation. (Courtesy of Hibulb Cultural Center)
Unearthing the ‘horrors’ of the Tulalip Indian School

The Tulalip boarding school evolved from a Catholic mission into a weapon for the government to eradicate Native culture. Interviews with survivors and primary documents give accounts of violent cultural suppression under the guise of education at the “Carlisle of the West,” modeled after the notorious Carlisle Indian Industrial School.

X
A brief timeline of Pacific Northwest boarding schools

The Tulalip Indian School had roots as a Catholic mission founded in 1857. Its history is intertwined with the Tulalip Reservation.

Laura Johnson, left, and Susan Paine.
After Roe ruling, Edmonds to consider abortion rights measure

A proposed resolution would direct police not to investigate people seeking or providing abortions.

The Supreme Court in Washington D.C. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
Supreme Court limits EPA in curbing power plant emissions

This impacts how the nation’s main anti-air pollution law can be used to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

Most Read