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Mason PUD 3 Honored with Prestigious "Paul J Raver" Community Service Award from NWPPA

Mason PUD 3 Honored with Prestigious "Paul J Raver" Community Service Award from NWPPA

by Mason PUD 3 on

September 17, 2021

Award Recognizes Leadership in Community Betterment

nwppa-award-sized.jpgMason PUD 3 was recognized again for its community service efforts in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. It was named recipient of the prestigious Paul J. Raver Community Service Award from the Northwest Public Power Association (NWPPA) at its annual meeting in Kennewick, WA last week.

The PUD was honored for its deployment of the free high‐speed Wi‐Fi hotspots at the beginning of the pandemic in an effort to support students, families, and schools during the shutdown. The PUD worked with the local schools and community partners to make sure every student in Mason County had a safe place to use the free high‐speed Wi‐Fi hotspot to access classwork, download assignments, and communicate with their teachers.

The project involved PUD 3 teaming up with fire districts, port districts, community halls, Mason County, and others to setup wireless hotspots at twenty-eight (28). The sites are all over Mason County, from the Tahuya Peninsula to Matlock, and many places in between. Backed by PUD 3’s high speed fiber network, users can expect internet speeds of about 300 Mbps download and 300 Mbps upload at the hotspots. Mason County Commissioners helped the PUD recover a large portion of the costs of the project using the federal CARES funds. A map of locations is available at www.pud3.org/wifi.

“We are proud to receive this recognition among our peers at NWPPA. We understand the importance of our role as a community-owned utility in helping expand rural broadband.” said Annette Creekpaum, Mason PUD 3 Manager. PUD 3’s Communications & Government Relations Manager, Lynn Eaton, added, “High speed internet is an essential utility. We are working hard to build out fiber optic infrastructure to homes and businesses in our unserved areas of Mason County but unfortunately this is a slow process. The free Wi-Fi hotspots were a lifeline during a desperate time in our community.” Mason PUD 3 has made great strides in solving the digital divide in its service territory.

The NWPPA’s Community Service Award is presented to an electric system or an individual for superior leadership in enhancing the role of the electric systems in achieving community betterment of an individual city, county, local area, state, or the region as a whole. It is presented annually at NWPPA’s Membership Meeting.

Dr. Paul J. Raver was presented (posthumously) this prestigious award at the NWPPA Annual Membership meeting on April 18,1963. Dr. Raver passed away days earlier on April 6,1963. The Community Service Award was in recognition of his leadership, integrity, and devotion to the public interests and of his many contributions to the welfare of the Pacific Northwest communities. The Bonneville Power Administration recognizes Dr. Raver’s personal commitments to public power in several books and personal biographies, and the Paul J. Raver substation is also named in remembrance of Dr. Raver.