By Michael Dunne

Published May 26, 2023 at 3:00 PM PDT


Published May 26, 2023 at 3:00 PM PDT

This week on Oregon On The Record, we discuss an issue that plagues many of our fellow Oregonians: lack of access to reliable broadband.

For those living and working in Eugene, Bend, and larger cities in our state, it’s easy to take for granted reliable internet connectivity. Yet 400,000 people in our state don’t have access to even the most basic broadband speeds.

Beyond simply being able to access websites, a lack of high-speed Internet impacts critical endeavors like education, healthcare and banking. Indeed, it’s no longer a nice to have, it’s a must have.

We talked with policy makers at the highest levels of government, to hear what they are doing to help bridge the digital divide. These guests included:

  • Senator Ron Wyden
  • State representative Pam Marsh
  • Nick Batz, the Director of the State Broadband Office

We also heard from rural advocate, Seth Kaplan of Greater Applegate, and Julie Barry the Principal of the rural Ruch Outdoor School about how lack of access creates real challenges to everyday living.
All told, there is hope that a slew of federal money coming into the state in the next few years will go a long way toward the lofty goal of creating an Internet for all in Oregon.

To learn more about broadband in Oregon and future plans, please visit  The Oregon Broadband Office.