Douglas County, Oregon Creates $28M Economic Impact with Fiber Each Year

WASHINGTON, D.C.— (April 20, 2022)—The Fiber Broadband Association (FBA) today announced the first of its Broadband Community Profiles designed to uncover the economic and societal impact that fiber broadband is having on rural communities across North America. The research, conducted by Futuriom Research, shows that Douglas County, Oregon, served by ISP Douglas Fast Net (DFN), has successfully leveraged fiber broadband to create jobs, improve quality of living, invest in its future, and even fight forest fires all while creating approximately $28 million in revenue or savings each year.

“Fiber broadband was a game changer for our community. It has helped our customers reduce costs, our hospitals improve care, our city government reduce costs and enabled students of all ages participate in online learning,” said Todd Way, CEO of Douglas Fast Net. “We know that it’s also playing a key role in helping keep some of our largest employers in the area and attract new businesses and industries to our market.”  

The first fiber optic service connections were delivered to the local medical centers in Roseburg, including Mercy Medical Center and VA Roseburg Health Care System at the end of 2000. By 2003, residential services were added and by 2005 DFN had laid fiber optic links to most anchor institutions including schools, hospitals and government offices in Roseburg. Fiber delivers benefits to regional hospitals that help streamline the sharing of medical records and information to improve patient care. In schools, Fiber supports remote learning programs that proved critical for K-12 students during the pandemic and also enabled local community colleges to create online programs for continuing adult education. In one unique application, DFN has provisioned fiber to wildfire command centers at local schools to support emergency-only and personal use by the firefighters. Wildfire teams also used pole-top cameras that replaced older manned fire towers when DFN strung fiber. The cameras helped initially locate the fires and track the progress of the battle against the flames.

To date, DFN has deployed 2,799 miles of fiber in Douglas County to over 12,531 subscribers and nearly one third of the local population. DFN plans to expand its network footprint significantly while offering 10G symmetrical services in the near term. It has spent the last two decades adding to its network through organic growth and acquisition, bringing fiber broadband to more people in its region. The company leverages technology and services from industry leaders Ciena, Juniper Networks, Corning, Adtran and PLP.

“This is a fantastic example of one rural community leveraging fiber to close the digital equity gap,” said Deborah Kish, Vice President, Research and Workforce Development at the Fiber Broadband Association. “Douglas Fast Net has a deep history of innovation, leveraging a fiber backbone facilitated by the incumbent electrical service cooperative and was one of the first ISPs in its state to offer Gigabit services and now on the path to 10G. This Broadband Community Profile will serve as a great example for other communities looking to accomplish the same level of progress.”

DFN is a subsidiary of Douglas Electric Cooperative (DEC). Since fiber was first deployed, DEC has taken full advantage of its fiber infrastructure, equipping all its substations with supervisory control and data acquisition and advanced metering infrastructure technologies. These smart grid protocols automate control and monitoring of remote systems. They also are the precursors to more complete smart grid functionality in the future, which entails distribution automation, whereby the entire grid is automatically regulated by sensors and monitors. This is a planned next step that could substantially reduce the cost of offering electrical service across Douglas County. 

For more information about the FBA’s Fiber Advisory Program, or to inquire about becoming involved, partnering or sponsoring new research, please contact Deborah Kish at dkish@fiberbroadband.org

About the Fiber Broadband Association

The Fiber Broadband Association is the largest and only trade association that represents the complete fiber ecosystem of service providers, manufacturers, industry experts and deployment specialists dedicated to the advancement of fiber broadband deployment and the pursuit of a world where communications are limitless, advancing quality of life and digital equity anywhere and everywhere. The Fiber Broadband Association helps providers, communities and policy makers make informed decisions about how, where and why to build better fiber broadband networks. Since 2001, these companies, organizations and members have worked with communities and consumers in mind to build the critical infrastructure that provides the economic and societal benefits that only fiber can deliver. The Fiber Broadband Association is part of the Fibre Council Global Alliance, which is a platform of six global FTTH Councils in the Americas, LATAM, Europe, MENA, and APAC. Learn more at fiberbroadband.org.

Press Release found at https://www.fiberbroadband.org/blog/douglas-county,-oregon-creates-$28m-economic-impact-with-fiber-each-year

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