The City of Eugene has coordinated a pilot project to bring high-speed fiber optic cable to three buildings downtown. Two were connected last week.
Fiber optic lines already span much of Eugene. The schools, the city, and major medical facilities have it. But a lot of other fiber is “dark.” It hasn’t been taken from its source to people who would use it. The city spent 100-thousand dollars to help light some of the dark cable, hoping to attract and retain businesses downtown. Economic Development Planner Anne Fifield says it’s not just tech companies who can benefit:
Fifield: “Everything’s getting moved to the cloud. Things are more and more data intensive. Just recently the city’s planning department has shifted, all of our permits are now available, you can submit them all electronically. So architecture firms, engineering firms. Those are giant files. They’re going to be interested in this. The medical industry is doing so much more tele-medicine.”
The Broadway Commerce building and the Woolworth building were connected first. Fifield says people are clamoring for their building to be chosen next. The City, along with the Lane Council of Governments and EWEB plan to start working on the third building in July.