Clackamas County and Wasco County communities to benefit

Thursday, June 15, 2023

Washington, D.C. – Oregon’s U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden announced today that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has approved a total of $51,024,671 in combined loans and grants for deploying fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) networks in Wasco County and Clackamas County to provide high-speed internet to over 9,000 community members, business, and farms.

“Reliable and affordable broadband has become more crucial than ever to the success of our workforce, students, and communities,” said Merkley. “Improving and investing in access to high-speed internet will help support the economy, education, and quality of life for folks in Clackamas and Wasco Counties. I’ll continue doing all I can to secure the resources needed to keep Oregonians connected in every corner of the state.”

“Topnotch broadband plays a key role in quality of life for Oregonians counting on modern infrastructure that connects families to healthcare and other services; students to school resources; and local small businesses to consumers,” said Wyden, who recently worked to secure key changes to the national broadband map that ensures Oregon gets a fair share of federal broadband grants. “I’m gratified these communities in Wasco and Clackamas counties have earned this federal investment, and I’ll keep battling to ensure all Oregonians have similar access.”

The USDA Rural Development ReConnect Loan and Grant Program furnishes loans and grants to provide funds for the costs of construction, improvement, or acquisition of facilities and equipment needed to provide broadband service in eligible rural areas.

Information on the loans and grants approved for Oregon can be found below: 

  • Beaver Creek Cooperative Telephone Company: $30,554,419 loan to make high-speed internet affordable by participating in the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Affordable Connectivity Program. This network will benefit 7,611 people, 202 businesses, 136 farms and six educational facilities in Clackamas County.
  • North-State Telephone Co.: $10,235,126 loan and $10,235,126 grant to make high-speed internet affordable by participating in the FCC’s Affordable Connectivity Program, as well the Oregon Telephone Assistance Program (OTAP). This network will benefit 1,490 people, 64 businesses and 43 farms in Wasco County.