Beacon Broadband powered by Coos-Curry Electric Cooperative officially broke ground today Thursday, April 15, 2021, in Brookings, Oregon. This ceremonial groundbreaking celebrates the beginning of construction for Beacon Broadband’s project to bring the fiber broadband experience where no one else will go.
Brent Bischoff, CEO of Beacon Broadband said, In the late 1930’s Sitkum Valley resident Ivan Laird recognized that electricity, the new method to obtain and use energy, was essential to a prosperous future in the rural south coast of Oregon. He made a bold move and founded Coos-Curry Electric Cooperative. The same can be said today of fiber broadband, the new method to obtain and use information. I think Ivan Laird would be proud of CCEC’s bold move to found Beacon Broadband.
Beacon Broadband is building a high-speed fiber-optic to the premises network that will span the Coos-Curry Electric Cooperative footprint and include surrounding areas that currently have very little internet access. About 20% of households in the CCEC service territory receive inadequate satellite or DSL internet service at this time.
The upcoming fiber to the premises network will close the digital divide between broadband access available in urban areas compared to the southern Oregon Coast. Having the ability to access 21st-century digital services such as telemedicine, remote teleworking, and distance learning will greatly improve the quality of life for those who live, work in, and visit our rural communities.
Utilizing a rolling design-construction process, Beacon Broadband plans to connect the first homes and businesses by the fourth quarter of 2021 and have the entire network built over the next three years. Upon the final completion, Beacon Broadband will operate a fiber-optic network covering Curry County, and portions of Coos County.
The project began in 2018 when CCEC first gauged interest amongst its members with a survey and completed other feasibility study work. In 2020, CCEC created Beacon Broadband as a wholly-owned subsidiary. Later that year Beacon Broadband was awarded Rural Digital Opportunity Funding in the amount of $14,129,000 over ten years. In the first half of 2021, Beacon Broadband began building staff, creating detailed designs for the first portions of the network, and selected vendors and partners to help complete the project. With this groundbreaking, Beacon Broadband begins the construction process in earnest.
The project is moving forward in partnership with Connexon, a leader in helping electric cooperatives build fiber networks in rural areas.
Visit www.beaconbroadband.com to learn more and pre-register or sign up for email notifications about the progress.