News for those who live, work and play in the Santiam Canyon

Online survey may bring faster Internet to rural Linn County

Linn County Communications Officer

Linn County Communications Officer.

Linn County residents – especially those in rural communities – could get high-speed Internet connections if enough Oregonians answer an online survey about their current Internet service, according to Steve Braaten, IT director for Linn County and a member of a regional compact studying the issue.

Braaten said Oregon’s portion of federal Build Back Better funds will be used to bring high-speed fiber optics to rural residents. Braaten said the COVID-19 pandemic that saw adults working from home and students attending classes online, pinpointed the disparity between Internet services available in cities compared to rural communities.

“We have the potential to be able to improve the Internet backbone, the infrastructure that will greatly speed up data transmission from town-to-town,” Braaten said.

Braaten said the local regional team includes representatives from Linn, Lane, Benton and Lincoln counties.

He said by taking the on-line survey at Htpp://FasterInternetOregon.org, participants will be asked to perform a test of their current Internet speeds.

Data collected from this project will be used by decision makers to: identify Oregon homes that lack high-speed Internet; clarify which households do not have an Internet connection and why; provide cost estimates and assess competitive viability of a variety of solutions for areas with identified gaps.

Survey participants will not be asked to provide their names or contact information.

Information will not be used for commercial or marketing purposes. Only campaign partners and decision-makers who sign a data-use agreement will have access to the household-level data.

The manner in which you receive your Internet service – mobile hot spot, in-home cable or satellite link-up – does not matter.

And, even if you do not have any Internet service, your information is valuable since one of the project’s goal is learning how many communities do not have adequate Internet services.

The project is a partnership of the Oregon Economic Development Districts, Onward Eugene, SpeedUpAmerica and Link Oregon.

The data will be aggregated and added to a dynamic map that key community decision-makers can use to identify projects and apply for funding.

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