Astound and AWS building a new 100-mile fiber route, including Highway 6 between Tillamook and Hillsboro
Tillamook, OR – March 15, 2023 – Astound Broadband and Amazon Web Services, Inc. (AWS) announced this month that a project is underway to build a new 100-mile underground fiber route along Highway 6. The project will run from Tillamook to Hillsboro and enable fiber-based Internet service along the highway which currently has limited connectivity. This project is partially funded by AWS’ investment in the Bifrost submarine cable system
“We understand the need for connectivity in the Tillamook area and along Highway 6, which is why we are working with local leaders and Astound to bring this project to life over the next year,” said Blair Anderson, Director of Public Policy, AWS. “Connectivity is foundational in the 21st century and this community investment is expected to improve connectivity for local residential communities, including underserved communities, as well as businesses, schools and local government facilities.”
Along much of Highway 6, there is currently no cellular service. While the new fiber pathway project does not specifically include installation of cellular towers along the route, the availability of high-speed, high-capacity wired service may make the process of installing antennas easier than before.
“As a resident of the Oregon coast community, I understand the importance of bringing high-speed fiber-based Internet to the area. It builds a strong foundation for other organizations and agencies to further expand connectivity now and in the future,” said Matt Updenkelder, Senior Director of Fiber Construction for Oregon, Astound Broadband.
Once complete, a portion of the 100-mile fiber route will belong to Tillamook Lightwave, an inter-governmental agency comprised of the Tillamook People’s Utility District, Tillamook County and the Port of Tillamook Bay. As part of Tillamook Lightwave’s robust network, the new fiber route is anticipated to increase reliability, diversity and available bandwidth for the local community.
“Our community is overdue for increased connectivity. There’s an increased need for Internet access, largely driven by the COVID-19 pandemic, and about one in every 27 people in our county still lack access to wired Internet service,” said Tillamook County Commissioner and Tillamook Lightwave Board Member, David Yamamoto. “It is encouraging to see companies who are operating within Tillamook County also investing in the community in ways that will serve our residents for generations to come.”
The project is expected to employ various local contractors during construction, as well as add long-term employees in Tillamook County to support the project for the next 20 to 30 years. The work is currently underway and will continue until early 2024.
About Astound Broadband
Astound Broadband (astound.com) is the sixth largest cable operator in the U.S., providing award-winning high speed internet, broadband communications solutions, TV, phone services and fiber optic solutions for residential and business customers across the United States. Astound Broadband is comprised of organizations formerly known as RCN, Grande Communications, Wave Broadband, and enTouch. The company services Chicago, Indiana, Eastern Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, New York City, Maryland, Washington, DC, Texas, regions throughout California, Oregon and Washington.