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Linn County Commissioners support faster Internet project

Linn County Communications Officer

Linn County Communications.

Linn County residents – especially those who live in rural areas of the county – could benefit from faster Internet service, IT Director Steve Braaten told Commissioners Roger Nyquist and Sherrie Sprenger Oct. 18.

Braaten asked the commissioners to approve an intergovernmental agreement with the Cascades West Council of Governments in conjunction with Lincoln and Benton counties to explore broadband options that would greatly increase Internet speeds for area residents.

Lane County had been another program partner, but has pulled out of the agreement.

Braaten said Linn County will pay $10,000, Benton County $16,000 and Lincoln County $15,800. The Council of Governments will contribute $18,200. The $60,000 will be used toward a grant application for $300,000.

Commissioner Nyquist said he was concerned because there has been talk about increasing faster Internet access for years, with little progress.

Braaten said the good news is that there is money available to support faster Internet services to rural areas and the installation of fiber optic data lines.

Braaten said Linn County is part of a statewide coalition encouraging rural residents to check their Internet’s speed. 

Braaten said some communities in the county have had good participation, but others have seen only a couple residents respond.

The information will be used to develop overreaching Internet systems. Linn County residents can participate by visiting https://www.fasterinternetoregon.org/.

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