TILLAMOOK LIGHTWAVE: Bringing High-Speed Internet to All in Tillamook County; Sign Letter to Show Support

In February of 2021, a county-wide survey from Tillamook Lightwave about internet access experience was completed by 700 county residents and businesses.  Over the last year, Tillamook Lightwave has been actively considering the issues that the community shared in the survey and the results of the Broadband Study. See a copy of the 118 page report below*.

The board of Tillamook Lightwave is now considering its role in improving internet access in Tillamook County and is seeking public comment and engagement in the decision-making process.

Fri, Feb 18th, 2022 – 9:00 am – Tillamook Lightwave Joint Entity Board Meeting (TBCC, details provided closer to date)

Tues, Feb 22nd, 2022 – 9:30 am – Tillamook Lightwave Board Meeting (Emergency Operations Center at Tillamook PUD, seating limited, Zoom link provided 24hrs before)

During these meetings, Tillamook Lightwave will be making critical decisions about public policy for developing internet facilities in unconnected areas of the county. The board will consider whether the local government has a role in building infrastructure to bring internet to unserved communities or not.

These meetings are open to the public and to public comment. Your attendance, personal testimony, and participation are encouraged.

Regarding High-Speed Internet and Tillamook Lightwave

This letter has been prepared for supporters and by following the link below you can show your support for bringing affordable broadband to everyone in the county:

To our County Commissioners and to the board members of the Tillamook PUD, the Port of Tillamook Bay, and Tillamook Lightwave;

Through your collective efforts over the past twenty-two years, Tillamook Lightwave has achieved the vision of building a robust fiber-optic network throughout our county that has helped businesses and public entities thrive.

We now ask that you make every effort to bring accessible and affordable high-speed Internet to every household in Tillamook County.

The need is great. Utilizing the Internet is no longer a luxury. It is a solution to keep us connected; not only to each other but to the world. It is a tool, a teacher, and sometimes a lifeline. It has become as necessary as any other utility and is used on a daily basis by nearly every resident in the county.

But access is limited by high costs, vast areas with no coverage, and painfully slow speeds. For a large portion of our county, both Internet and cell phone coverage are unavailable. This includes areas like Oceanside, Miami-Foley Road, and the dangerous Highway 6 corridor, which claimed seven lives last year. You have the power to change this.

We are families, farmers, students, artists, workers, creators, entrepreneurs, retirees, travelers on the roads, long time residents, and senior citizens. We live downtown and down long, lonely roads with no neighbors for miles.

We, the citizens of Tillamook County, ask that a new vision for the future of Tillamook Lightwave be set. A vision that has room to continue the great work that Tillamook Lightwave has done for industry, but one that also has room to encompass the people.

Thank you for your time and your service.

Click the link below to “sign the letter” and express your support for action by Tillamook Lightwave to improve internet availability, accessibility, and affordability in Tillamook County.

https://forms.gle/WCFZpA6fqRnKGnN66

You may also return a personal letter expressing either support or an alternate opinion to sgoodwin@co.tillamook.or.us and have it considered by the board.

Highway 6 High-Speed Internet

Tillamook Lightwave is pursuing a federal USDA ReConnect grant proposing to fully fund fiberoptic infrastructure along Highway 6 to bring high-speed internet connectivity to every residence and business within the project area along the Wilson River corridor.

  1. If you are a homeowner or business owner along the Highway 6 corridor, I ask you to submit a letter of support for this project that will be included in the grant application. Personal letters of support can be very influential in a competitive grant process and can make the difference between receiving the funding and not.

Below is a link to a letter of support and internet assessment form that will be included with the grant application. Homeowners and business owners with addresses in communities along Highway 6 can sign this letter and fill out the form to express their support for the grant proposal.

https://forms.gle/E35ouDYiCCufdQqx5

Please return these forms by February 18th to be included in the grant. If you do not own a home or business along Highway 6, please do not fill out the form, as only those who will be directly affected by the grant are eligible to comment.

*Tillamook Lightwave Broadband Study Report