With a federal grant, a project to create a high speed fiber network in downtown Eugene is now fully funded. The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration awarded a $1.9 million dollar grant to the city this week.
The grant, along with the city’s urban renewal money, will help Eugene realize its goal of being one of the best places in the country for internet access.
Anne Fifield is Economic Development Planner with the City of Eugene. She says 7 downtown buildings are already connected to the fiber network in a pilot program.
“It’s created a competitive landscape with very high capacity to offer service.” Fifield says, “And we’ve seen, in the buildings that are already served, we’ve seen that competitive landscape has made service levels go up and prices come down.”
She says the fiber network provides transmission speeds of 1,000 megabits per second. The goal is to have 120 downtown Eugene buildings connected to the open-access network. Construction is expected to take about 18 months. The project is a partnership between the city, Eugene Water and Electric Board and Lane Council of Governments.