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Business Oregon
Nathan Buehler
Marketing Mgr
Email; 503-689-3559

March 19, 2018 Media Contact

Rural Oregon Communities Awarded Funds to Enhance Broadband Access

Today Business Oregon announced seven recipients of grant funds designed to advance broadband infrastructure in rural areas.

"Bridging the digital divide is an integral part of growing our rural economies and creating a Future Ready Oregon," Governor Kate Brown said.

The 2016 Broadband Progress Report adopted by the Federal Communications Commission shows that 39% or rural Americans lack access to broadband speed benchmarks, versus only 4% in urban areas. To address that gap, Governor Kate Brown authorized Business Oregon to use $500,000 from the Strategic Reserve Fund to stand up a grant pilot program to advance rural broadband development.

"Cultivating economic stability in rural Oregon is a key priority for us, and identified as such in our agency's strategic plan," said Business Oregon director Chris Harder. "Broadband access is critical to both advancing existing rural industries, as well as diverse economic growth."

As the state's economic development agency, Business Oregon works to expand broadband access as a critical component of 21st century infrastructure for business and community development. Oregon cities, counties, ports, tribes, cooperatives, non-profits, and public-private partnerships submitted proposals in February, 2018. There were 25 applications submitted for more than $4.8 million in requested funding. Grants awarded will support broadband planning and infrastructure projects located in Baker, Columbia, Coos, Curry, Douglas, Morrow, Harney, and Tillamook counties.

Organization Grant Offer Project Name: Brief Description
 City of Baker City $137,000 Elkhorn View Industrial Park Broadband: Baker City will deploy a fiber distribution network throughout the 65 acre city-owned industrial park.
 City of Boardman $10,000 Broadband Strategic Planning: Boardman will develop a Broadband Strategic Plan for the city.
 City of Glendale $140,000 City of Glendale: Glendale will deploy a city wide fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) and fiber-to-the-business (FTTB) network through a public-private partnership.
 Columbia County $68,300 Columbia County Broadband Project: The county will assess its broadband needs, infrastructure, vendor resources, and strategic options including a county-wide fiber ring to provide high-speed Internet services to residents, businesses, anchor institutions and emergency services throughout the county.
Coos Curry Electric Coop
$19,700 Broadband Feasibility Study: CCEC will conduct a feasibility study for building a broadband network to provide services to rural underserved areas of Coos, Curry, and part of Douglas counties.
 Harney County $75,000 Harney County Broadband: The county will develop a Broadband Strategic Plan in collaboration with the cities of Burns and Hines, and the Burns Paiute Tribe.
 Tillamook Lightwave $50,000 Port area of Garibaldi: TLW will expand its fiber network in the Port of Garibaldi area to deliver Gigabit services and support economic development.

This funding is contingent on successful negotiation between Business Oregon and the recipients, of contractual terms for the awards and performance objectives by agreed upon dates.

Business Oregon, the state's economic development agency, invests in Oregon businesses, communities, and people to promote a globally competitive, diverse, and inclusive economy. The agency's services span rural community development and infrastructure financing; business retention, expansion and recruitment; export promotion and international trade; investments in industry research and development and entrepreneurship; small business assistance; and support for arts and cultural organizations.