What is ARPA?

ARPA, the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, is an economic relief package providing funding to a wide array of projects and programs at the state and local levels supporting recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

OPALCO has been awarded funding for a large infrastructure project that expands fiber optic access to qualified areas of San Juan County. Rock Island, as OPALCO’s subsidiary, is managing the deployment of this project.

Who is benefitting from this project?

Approximately 1,000 locations are qualified for this project on Orcas, San Juan, Decatur, Blakely, and Center Islands.

How were qualified areas determined?

Many factors come into play when applying for Federal grant money. There were two main factors in determining areas of San Juan County that qualify for this grant:

  • Currently underserved areas (no access to broadband service, from any provider)
  • Cost required to gain access to broadband

The application process is arduous and internet service providers in the area can disqualify expansion to certain locations based on erroneous claims of meeting the broadband level of service, or their acquisition of other grant funds not being put to use in the areas for which they were awarded.

 We’re thrilled that OPALCO has been awarded enough grant money to fully fund broadband access to about 1,000 San Juan County residents. 

What’s the timeline?

All ARPA-funded facilities (73 miles of conduit) must be in place and ready to deliver broadband service by October 31, 2026. As facilities get installed, service will become available (many will be online well before the deadline approaches).

What’s next?

Rock Island is committed to continuing to expand broadband access to San Juan County residents, offsetting costs by seeking further grant money, offering financing options, and making consistent investments in our fiber optic plant.


Email us at [email protected] or give us a call at 360-378-5884

Rock Island Local Community Communication

Add-on Services

Digital Phone (VoiP)

Introducing digital phone (VoIP). Everything is moving to the “cloud”, why not your phone system? Rock Island VoIP is one of the leading VoIP-hosted phone system providers in San Juan. We offer leading technology in the world of cloud-based phone systems. In addition, as a local company, you will not have to wonder who you will be seeing when you need support. 

Rock Island Mesh WiFi

A Wi-Fi mesh network or similar is almost a necessity in our county. These devices expand the area of your wi-fi coverage as well as minimize the loss traditionally seen with onboard modem/router Wi-Fi. The Rock Island mesh network system uses multiple access points in strategic locations around your home to create one smart network to ensure high quality, whole-home Wi-Fi coverage.

Cyber Security

Get comprehensive internet security for your PC today. At the heart of our cybersecurity software bundle is SecureIT, a best-of-breed security program with a simplified interface, state-of-the-art detection technology, and hands-free updates which make it the ideal choice.



Home Automation

We have certified installers and Control4 programmers on staff and can help you with your home automation needs, from simple to complex. We are the only San Juan County Control4 partner and we are very excited to help automate your home or office. 



Rock Island Local Community Communication