Bridging The Digital Divide


A new broadband network brings high-speed internet to rural Maupin, Oregon

MAUPIN — The rural city of Maupin, with a population of just 430 residents, now has some of the fastest internet in the Pacific Northwest thanks to a newly completed $2 million project that has brought a fiber optic broadband network to the community.

“This is a total game-changer for Maupin,” says Maupin Mayor, Lynn Ewing. “Our new high-speed broadband network significantly improves the professional and learning opportunities for residents while luring visitors to stay longer and even consider moving here.”

Critical Infrastructure Investment

In today’s fast-paced and plugged-in world, internet access is becoming more of a necessity. Bringing online access to rural areas brings educational and economic opportunities, and Maupin serves as an example for what can happen when public-private partnerships go well.

“The new high-speed fiber network in Maupin is proof that no town is too small or too remote to make sure their community is connected,” said Governor Kate Brown. “It will allow businesses in Maupin to grow and add new jobs while helping the school, health care providers, and local government to provide quality services. I appreciate all of the community support, including from the state’s Regional Solutions team, that improved access to high-speed internet for more Oregonians.

City Partners with Industry

The city partnered with QLife Network, an inter-governmental agency that’s helping facilitate reliable, cost-effective, open-access link to fiber optic, and Portland-based LS Networks to design and install the network. “We say out here, ‘Things are hopping’ in Maupin’,” says Mayor Ewing. “With 1 gigabit per second and numerous construction projects underway, that’s definitely true!”

The project took more than three years to complete, and received financing from seven partners — including more than $935,000 from the State of Oregon.

In December, Governor Brown signed Executive Order 18-31 establishing the Oregon Broadband Office, citing access to high-speed internet as an economic and equity issue. Her Regional Solutions team is now working with the north central Oregon community to think about leveraging the internet in a new economic development strategy, calling it “Maupin 2.0.” With many new economic and education possibilities on the horizon, the future is bright for Maupin.

About Author

Ryleigh Norgrove is a Communications Fellow with the Office of Governor Kate Brown.

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