Effective networks are critical to resiliency, access to services for residents and businesses, and a key component to our comprehensive regional economic development strategy. To support addressing un-and underserved areas of our region, MCEDD coordinates the Gorge Broadband Consortium. This group of local governments, internet service providers, and community advocates works to ensure that residents and businesses have the broadband access, and skills, to take advantage of the resources, services, and markets available on the internet today.
Broadband is essential to providing economic opportunities throughout the Mid-Columbia region. The region’s rural nature and challenging and diverse terrain make building broadband infrastructure extremely costly and nearly impossible for private sector investment alone to meet needs. Enhancing broadband capacity for the region will enhance economic opportunities and support more resilient and networked communities. In addition:
- Improving broadband connection in the region means several things. Building redundancy that connects east/west and north/south enables more reliable broadband connections throughout the region in the event of an outage, cable-cut, or natural disaster. This redundancy is a necessary condition for businesses interested in locating or growing in the region. Increasing speeds and decreasing latency in connections means that they can better support industry growth in the technology sector as well as others, improved telemedicine and distance learning capabilities, and provide more robust use of many other applications for businesses and communities.
- Reaching key tower sites and facilities increases service for public safety communications as well as opportunities for private internet and cellular carriers to build upon the backbone investment for additional connectivity;
- Addressing un/under-served areas will increase internet access at homes, businesses, and key community anchor institutions.
- Increasing broadband throughout the region means additional homes become viable choices for residents that require internet access for their work or businesses at their residences, relieving some housing pressures with adequate broadband access currently.
- Enhanced broadband provides connection to education and training opportunities for the growth of a skilled and talented workforce
- Looking for services? Check out the Oregon Broadband Map or the Federal Communication Commission’s National Broadband Map for information on who reports serving your location.
- The Washington State Broadband Office works with partners to support Washington State in meeting key access and speed goals outlined in its forming legislation and coordinates with other state and federal programs.
- The Oregon State Broadband Office works to promote access to broadband for all Oregonians.
- The Oregon Connections Telecommunications Conference draws attendees from all regions of the state to share ideas, experiences and knowledge about telecommunications.