Rural Oregon town completes municipal fiber network

March 12, 2019
The rural community of Maupin, OR, has completed a $2 million fiber optic broadband network to support 1 Gbps Internet access. The project ...

The rural community of Maupin, OR, has completed a $2 million fiber optic broadband network to support 1 Gbps Internet access. The project, which took more than three years and financing from seven partners - including more than $935,000 from the state of Oregon. The central Oregon town of 430 is known for its whitewater rafting and fly-fishing along the Lower Deschutes River.

"This is a total game-changer for Maupin," said Maupin Mayor Lynn Ewing. "Our new high-speed broadband network significantly improves the professional and learning opportunities for residents while luring visitors to stay longer and even consider moving here."

Initial funding for the network was secured in 2015, and design, facilitated by QLife Network, began in 2016. Full build-out was completed in early 2019. Local service providers Gorge.Net and LS Networks worked through the winter to complete connections to individual buildings. Today, South Wasco County School District, White River Health District, Southern Wasco County Library, City Hall, more than 300 homes and businesses have full access to the network starting at $40 for 100 Mbps speed and $70 for 1 Gbps speed.

"Maupin remained steadfast in its pursuit of attaining higher-quality Internet for its residents," said Byron Cantrall, CEO of LS Networks. "Thanks to a combination of local champions and numerous partners willing to sit at the table together, Maupin now has broadband service that rivals the speeds enjoyed by those in Oregon's biggest cities."

In December, Oregon Governor Kate Brown signed Executive Order 18-31 establishing the Oregon Broadband Office, citing access to high-speed internet as an economic and equity issue.

"The new high-speed fiber network in Maupin is proof that no town is too small or too remote to make sure their community is connected," said Brown. "It will allow businesses in Maupin to grow and add new jobs while helping the school, health care providers, and local government to provide quality services. I appreciate all of the community support, including from the state's Regional Solutions team, that improved access to high-speed Internet for more Oregonians."

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