Oregon middle-mile fiber broadband network

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Oregon middle-mile fiber broadband network
Link-Oregon-Network-Map-Mar-2021-3MB.png
Oregon Network Map
Team Organizations Link Oregon
Fujitsu
Arista
Team Leaders Steve Corbató
Ann Marcus
Participating Municipalities Portland OR
Sectors Wireless
Status Launched
Last Updated May 19, 2024

Summary

Link Oregon, the non-profit, middle-mile broadband network serving Oregon’s public and non-profit sectors, delivered the first two phases of its statewide network backbone in June 2021, having successfully lit nearly 2,000 route-miles of fiber-optic cable and deployed more than 50 service locations across Oregon. The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated the negative impacts of the digital divide and magnified the connectivity needs of many Oregonians. Link Oregon — a consortium of Oregon’s four largest research universities and the State of Oregon’s Enterprise Information Services (EIS) — responded to the connectivity crisis with an accelerated buildout of its network backbone.

Link Oregon Network Map March 2021

Leveraging $8.39 million in CARES Act funding allocated by the Oregon Legislature Emergency Board through Business Oregon, Link Oregon expedited deployment of network assets to extend connectivity to the state’s public and non-profit sectors that serve the rural communities in southern and eastern Oregon—beating the grant’s extended June 2021 deadline. To meet this aggressive timeline, Link Oregon augmented its network engineering and project management team with expert staff generously loaned by several founding members.

In addition to serving the broadband networking needs of the five founding organizations, Link Oregon also supports many of Oregon’s public K-12 school districts and education service districts and a growing number of key Oregon research initiatives. The latter includes the Hatfield Marine Science Center, Oregon State University’s coastal research campus in Newport, and the Oregon Hazards Lab (OHAZ) at the University of Oregon, which implements two hazard detection and notification projects, ShakeAlert and ALERTWildfire, for Oregon. Link Oregon also supports public and non-profit healthcare providers, libraries, Tribal facilities, and state and local government offices statewide.

Current and anticipated federal and state broadband investments show promise for expanding last-mile connectivity options that integrate with a robust middle-mile solution. Regional Internet exchange services also play an important role in augmenting data throughput capacity—particularly for rural, remote communities. Member-based Link Oregon is actively planning the next phase of expansion for its middle-mile network that will connect other key locations and communities along the Oregon coast and into eastern Oregon.