With the completion of the network, the rural community of Maupin is now among the state’s most competitive when it comes to internet access. With speeds of 1 gigabit per second (gbps) per customer, the service is the fastest broadband service available in the Pacific Northwest. It’s an infrastructure change that vastly improves the city’s economic and educational opportunities.
The project, which took more than three years and financing from seven partners, including more than $935,000 from the State of Oregon, is a boon to the Central Oregon town of 430, better known for its access to whitewater rafting and fly-fishing along the Lower Deschutes River than its high-speed internet.
The LS Networks fiber optic infrastructure covers most of the Pacific Northwest and sends information via small, flexible strands of glass that transmit light, which allows data to be sent faster than traditional cable. LSN is now connecting towns like Maupin to it’s best-in-the-west network. The technology is also less susceptible to conditions such as power outages and interference from power lines, and can withstand temperature fluctuations better than traditional cable.
“This is a total game-changer for Maupin,” says Maupin Mayor Lynn Ewing. “Three years ago, when we started down this path, our entire community lacked access to strong, reliable internet. This put our schools and businesses at a serious disadvantage. Even second homeowners and tourists who come to Maupin to ‘get away from it all’ still wanted access to high-speed internet. We knew that if we didn’t address this problem, our town could literally disappear.”
In addition to its new broadband network, Maupin is beautifying its downtown, improving pedestrian walkways, and building a new 3,000-square-foot library as part of a new 6,000-square-foot Civic Center. With rising housing costs and an influx of people moving to Bend and Portland, Maupin is attracting more young professionals, business owners and families to settle there.