Making Remote Learning Possible in Rural Oregon
The pandemic served as a perfect acid test for connectivity around the world: bottlenecks and points of weakness in infrastructure were quickly exacerbated as everyone moved almost overnight to remote work and learning. In the Mid-Willamette Valley area in Oregon, the decades-old, substandard home Internet infrastructure stood out in stark relief very quickly. Local K-12 students were particularly affected.
Theresa Peltier, a resident of the area, was shocked at the difficulty her son Hank was having with his remote homework assignments. He would spend hours of extra time just trying to log in to get his work done.
Julie Ragan, a teacher for the local Lebanon Community School District, knew of kids in deep rural areas that didn’t have Internet access at all. “Rural kids were being left behind,” she notes disquietingly.
As an organization committed to caring for the communities it serves and working to improve quality of life, PEAK Internet had to find a way to make big changes to the local infrastructure in its Mid-Willamette Valley service area.
PEAK Internet to install fiber optic lines in Lebanon
Dec 13, 2022
ALBANY — Linn County Commissioners Roger Nyquist, Sherrie Sprenger and Will Tucker approved a tax-exempt bond program that will help PEAK Internet run more than 101 miles of high-speed fiber optic lines in the city of Lebanon, greatly increasing Internet speed opportunities for homes and businesses alike.
The project will also affect users who live on Linn County properties interspersed within Lebanon’s boundaries. The city of Lebanon has already approved the project.
<p”>PEAK Internet CEO Rick Petersen said the company will use up to $47 million secured by tax exempt bonds issued by the Arizona Industrial Development Authority.
Board Chairman Nyquist was concerned that the project might encumber Linn County residents in some fashion, but Petersen said the bonds will be repaid through user fees. Linn County residents will not be responsible for any of the debt except via monthly user fees for those who sign up for the high-speed service.
PEAK Internet is owned by Consumers Power of Philomath.
According to information provided to the commissioners, about 45% of the fiber optic lines will be buried and 55% will be installed on Pacific Power’s above-ground poles.
The project will provide one gigabit fiber connection to every customer on the network.
PEAK Internet has been working toward this goal since 2018 and has previously installed fiber optic lines in the Lebanon area to about 350 customers.
The new project’s timeline was slowed by the COVID-19 pandemic, Petersen said, but a contractor is in place and ready to begin work after the first of the year.
Media contact: Alex Paul, Linn County Communications Officer, 541-967-3825 or email email@example.com.
Fiber Internet coming to Lebanon households
By Alex Powers of the Albany Democrat Herald
Nov 23, 2022
Lebanon will be first in the mid-Willamette Valley to get enterprise-level fiber-optic internet to every home in city limits.
The city signed an agreement Nov. 9 with Corvallis-based PEAK Internet that will allow the company to start covering Lebanon in fiber lines in 2023.
PEAK has planned for nearly a decade to bring fiber to Lebanon, installing dozens of miles of fiber lines in separate projects to Lacomb and Sweet Home. Supporters say the infrastructure could attract businesses and spur economic growth.
PEAK Internet’s investment in fiber Internet expands rural growth opportunities
Edition 11/1/2022 Ruralite C-6 Consumers Power (CPI)
Oregon is an amazing place to live.
We are blessed with beautiful natural surroundings like forests, lakes and mountains. On the flip side, it can be challenging to get access to the same services enjoyed by people living in more urban areas.
During the pandemic, few services became more important than a fast, reliable internet connection. In 2021, approximately 38 million people worked remotely. This is expected to be the norm for 15% of American workers. That’s roughly triple the pre-pandemic rate.
Historically in many parts of Oregon, only a few organizations have invested in building fiber-optic networks— the best infrastructure for providing telecommunications services. One of those is PEAK Internet. With offices in Corvallis and Lebanon, Oregon, it serves more than 20 communities across the state.
PEAK Internet is a local company that has been providing connectivity to homes, businesses, schools, libraries, universities, hospitals and veterans homes for decades.
PEAK News Archive
- January 2021 – Democrat Herald ‘Peak Internet project to bring fiber optics to rural homes’
- January 2021 – USDA invests in High-Speed Broadband for Rural Linn and Polk Counties
- December 2020 – Sweet Home News ‘Local firms work to improve rural internet’
- August 2020 – Broadband Access gets a Boost from New Business Oregon Grants
- August 2019 – PEAK Internet helps connect OSU and Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport
- April 2017 – PEAK Internet Acquires EPUD and EFN
- March 2017 – PEAK Internet Joins EUGNET Project
- November 2015 – PEAK Internet Acquires Corvallis Technical
- January 2014 – Gazette Times ‘Celebrate Corvallis 2013 Business of the Year Award’
- March 2013 – Democrat Herald ‘Albany Chamber Large Business of the Year Award’
- March 2013 – Democrat Herald ‘Heritage Mall goal: Fill ‘er up’
- June 2012 – Gazette Times ‘Just another day at the ballpark’
- May 2012 – Lebanon Express ‘First Annual Kentucky Derby Party’
- April 2012 – Gazette Times ‘Internet Security Seminar April 30th’
- April 2012 – Gazette Times ‘Home Grown Service’
- March 2012 – Lebanon Express ‘Lebanon Chamber Large Business of the Year Award’
- August 2011 – Lebanon Express ‘Increased Broadband Means Better Communication’
- August 2010 – Lebanon Express ‘Faster Internet Coming to Remote Schools’