Clear Creek Communications is pleased to announce it has been awarded a $6.9 million low-interest loan from the United States Department of Agriculture’s Rural Utility Services ReConnect Program Round 3. These funds will allow the local Internet Service Provider (ISP) to deliver cutting-edge fiber optic broadband service to the greater Redland community.
The loan lays the foundation for the first phase of crucial broadband infrastructure upgrades for the 116-year-old cooperative. This new system will deliver internet speeds up to 2 Gigabits (2,000 Megabits per second) through dedicated Fiber to the Home connections. The project area for this initial phase consists of about 500 homes in the rural portion of Clear Creek’s service area in the greater Springwater Corridor just west of the Clackamas River.
“This project will start to add Redland members to the national fiber footprint,” said Clear Creek Communications President, Jay Henke. “It will also better support the growing number of internet-connected devices the average subscriber has in their home today like smartphones, tablets, gaming systems, health trackers and doorbell cameras.”
A press event with a group of local, regional, and national dignitaries met at the Clear Creek Communications office in Redland yesterday to celebrate the award and collaborate on broadband initiatives. Participants included Deputy Secretary of Agriculture, Dr. Jewel Bronaugh, and State of Oregon Senator, Ron Wyden.
“You cannot have big league quality of life with little league communications systems,” said State of Oregon Senator, Ron Wyden. “And what we’re talking about today is again the effort to make sure that modern communications – that we need for our healthcare, for education, for jobs, and above all for public safety – get into every nook and cranny of the state.”
Engineering for the fiber project is expected to begin late this year with the first phase of member installations occurring in 2023. It is anticipated to take 3 years to convert all 500 addresses in this initial undertaking. The company claims that this is the first of many fiber upgrades planned for its service area.
Fiber connections, especially in more rural areas like Redland, establish a future-proof connection that will help to bridge the digital divide, keep jobs local, stimulate the local economy, and allow more working and learning from home. These speeds will delight at-home business owners with file transfer time, thrill online gamers with very low latency and high upstream bandwidth, rock music enthusiasts with more downloads per minute, and amaze video conferencing and web cam users with its high-end streaming ability.
“This is a game-changer and an investment,” said Deputy Secretary of Agriculture, Dr. Jewel Bronaugh. “Realizing more is needed, this is a great start. This [program] is going to help with opportunities such as high-paying jobs, expansion of businesses, educational opportunities, healthcare, and new economic markets. We are excited about this commitment we are making to rural America.”
About Fiber Optic Technology
Fiber optics are the pinnacle of high-speed broadband technology. It provides exponentially faster download and upload speeds and a more reliable connection than traditional copper or coaxial cable lines. As the number of connected devices per person continues to increase, the need for quality, reliable internet service has never been greater yet only 43 percent of US homes currently have access to this technology.
- Fiber networks are buried rather than aerial, making them far less susceptible to inclement weather.
- Fiber is highly reliable, so downtime is rare.
- Fiber can carry up to 20,000 times more content than a copper cable. For example, one copper cable can accommodate 50 telephone calls while one fiber strand can accommodate 1,000,000 telephone calls.
- Fiber offers faster download speeds. A 4 GB Ultra HD movie will download in 11 minutes, 37 seconds on a 50 Mbps connection, but just 34 seconds on a 1 Gbps connection.
- Fiber installed directly into a subscriber’s home can increase the property value by more than 3-percent, according to the Fiber Broadband Association.
- Fiber connections attract and retain talented workers to the area and reduce the local carbon footprint as working from home results in fewer commutes.
- Fiber assists local commerce and businesses with seamless payments, options for customer WiFi, and reliable connections for employees.
The ReConnect Program is an innovative program that offers unique federal financing and funding options in the form of grants, loans, and combinations of the two to facilitate broadband deployment in areas of rural America that currently lack sufficient access to quality internet. Priority was awarded for projects that propose to deliver higher capacity connections to rural homes, businesses, and farms in severely underserved areas of the nation. More information on the ReConnect Program can be found at www.USDA.gov/ReConnect.
About Clear Creek Communications
Clear Creek Communications is located within the community of Redland, a suburb of Portland located a few miles east of Oregon City. The company was incorporated as an Oregon cooperative telephone company in 1906 and now provides state-of-the-art internet, telephone, WiFi, and security services to its members. Learn more at www.CCMTC.com.
Jay Henke, President
Clear Creek Communications