PORT ORFORD - Coos-Curry Electric Cooperative, Inc. is the recipient of a grant that will cover the costs to explore the feasibility of providing broadband Internet service to the underserved rural areas on the southern Oregon coast. The grant is provided by Business Oregon in an effort to expand broadband access as a critical component of 21st century infrastructure for business and community development.
The study, conducted by Pulse Broadband, will include a physical review of the area to determine make-ready costs, an analysis of the fee structure and availability of an Internet service provider interconnect and a proposed rate structure that would make a broadband program sustainable.
The 2016 Broadband Progress Report adopted by the Federal Communications Commission shows that 39 percent of rural Americans lack access to broadband speed benchmarks, versus only 4 percent in urban areas. To address that gap, Governor Kate Brown authorized Business Oregon to use $500,000 from the Strategic Reserve Fund to stand up a grant pilot program to advance rural broadband development.
“We have heard from CCEC members in the rural portions of Coos and Curry counties that high-speed internet access is limited or not available at all,” said CCEC General Manager Roger Meader. “We owe it to our members to investigate the possibility of providing this critical service.”
The proposal is expected to be ready for review by the CCEC Board of Directors in July.
About Coos-Curry Electric Cooperative, Inc.
Coos-Curry Electric Cooperative, Inc. (CCEC) was founded in 1939 by a group of Coos County residents who wanted electricity in their area. Today, the nonprofit cooperative has approximately 14,000 members, over 17,000 meters in Coos, Curry and Douglas counties, and 1,626 miles of line, including 52 miles of transmission line between Gold Beach and Brookings. CCEC serves the rural populations east and south of Coos Bay in Coos County, a portion of Douglas County and all of Curry County except for the town of Langlois. Headquartered in Port Orford, Oregon, CCEC has area business offices in Port Orford, Coquille, Gold Beach and Brookings.