Telecommunication policy -- Oregon -- Portland Metropolitan Area, Digital divide, Internet -- Social aspects, Broadband communication systems
Internet access has become critical to participating in modern American society, yet the private market is no closer to serving low-income and rural Americans.
In May 2018, the City of Hillsboro announced it would go ahead with a publicly owned and operated, affordable, gigabit-speed Internet service for the entire city. Multnomah County Commissioners voted for a feasibility study of their own in June. The Port of Ridgefield, Washington, has big hopes for its own fiber optic project. Meanwhile, the city of Sandy, Oregon, has been running its own municipal broadband service for the last six years.
What’s driving this wave? A big part of the answer is that Internet access has become critical to participating in modern American society, yet the private market is no closer to serving low-income and rural Americans. The recent repeal of net neutrality rules only threatens to widen the so-called “digital divide.”
Moore, Eavan, "Making the Connection: Municipal Broadband Meets a Need in the Portland Metropolitan Area" (2019). Metroscape. 143.
Originally appeared in the Winter 2019 edition of Metroscape, published by the Institute of Portland Metropolitan Studies, Portland State University.