Now businesses in Central Oregon’s rural communities have access to the fastest Internet Speeds available anywhere. This is possible due to a project we recently completed known as BTOP (Broadband Technology Opportunites Project).
In essence, the project involved the installation of a colossal fiber ring that connects all Central Oregon communities. State-of-the-art fiber technology can make a big economic impact in underserved areas.
“It’s all about access to technology in today’s business environment,” explained Roger Lee of Economic Development for Central Oregon. “If fiber capacity is offered in our rural areas, cities like Prineville, Madras and LaPine will have a better chance retaining and creating family-wage jobs.”
The project, funded by BendBroadband and grant money through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, required the implementation of a 132-mile fiber ring fulfilling infrastructure needs for health, educational, public safety, and business entities throughout Central Oregon by enabling higher Internet connectivity speeds. A benefit to the overall Central Oregon economy, the project’s goal is to bridge the gap that has existed between rural and urban areas of Central Oregon.
In addition to enabling business growth, Shirley Metcalf, Dean of Extended Learning at COCC, says the completion of BTOP means schools will now have the connectivity and technology to help train Central Oregon’s future workforce.
“The high-speed Internet connection through BendBroadband and the BTOP grant have made it possible for us to offer so much more for students at our new campuses in Madras and Prineville,” Metcalf said. “While we can offer the face-to-face instruction, we could not provide the full complement of educational services nor the depth of learning resources without this important infrastructure.”