Oregon’s Broadband Assistance Program Announces Intent toAward

The Oregon Broadband Office is pleased to announce the awardees of the Broadband
Technical Assistance Program (BTAP) grants of up to $150,000 per county which can
be used for eligible broadband planning and pre-construction activities, staffing, and
grant application support. $1.5 million will be distributed to 11 projects to prepare for
broadband infrastructure.

“This is a great way to kick off broadband infrastructure efforts in Oregon and
indicates the high demand for broadband access throughout the state,” said Nick
Batz, Director of the Oregon Broadband Office. “For this $1.5 million program, we
received 27 applications with a request of more than $4.47 million. Our goal for
Oregon is for all Oregonians to have access to broadband by the end of this decade
and this funding is a great start.”

Applicants had until February 2, 2024, to apply for this competitive grant, which
underwent a rigorous scoring review by Oregon Broadband Office staff and the
Oregon Broadband Grant Application Review Committee based on the criteria
outlined in the Program Handbook. The funding came from the Oregon Universal
Service Fund. BTAP offers support to local and regional planning efforts developing
broadband financing and deployment strategies for the unserved, those without
service or with speeds below 25/3 Mbps, and underserved locations, those with
speeds between 25/3 and 100/20 Mbps, in Oregon.
Intended Projects and Awardees
Each of the entities selected for funding is listed below with a brief description of the
activities that funds will support:

Polk County – $42,840
This grant will support staffing for the IT Special Projects Manager who currently
coordinates rural broadband activities for Polk County to complete the following
projects as supported by the Polk County Broadband Committee. Tasks include 1)
Identifying existing ISP Activity in Polk County, 2) Anchor Institution Review and
Support, 3) Update Rural Broadband Priorities/Strategic Plan, 4) Participating in
organizational plans to improve Digital Equity, and 5) Providing BEAD challenge
process support.

Farmers Mutual Telephone Company – $75,000
This grant will support a business plan to determine Farmers Mutual’s ability to build
a Fiber to the Premises (FTTP) network covering the unserved and underserved
locations in Malheur County, Oregon where a funding commitment or an obligation
to build out does not exist. Farmers Mutual will work with its engineering contractor
to 1) map unserved and underserved project areas, perform preliminary fiber routing
layout, prepare capital expenditure estimates, 2) environmental and permitting
requirements analysis, and 3) develop a financial feasibility study.

Clatskanie People’s Utility District – $78,750
This grant will support Clatskanie PUD’s development of a strategic plan that
addresses the challenges in ensuring sufficient broadband infrastructure access and
affordability for the communities in the district. To achieve these objectives,
Clatskanie PUD has enlisted the expertise of NoaNet, a public utility-owned
telecommunications nonprofit operating out of Washington State, as a consultant to
execute the following tasks outlined in our project plan 1) Goals Determination and
Market Assessment, 2) Public Survey Needs and Experiences, 3) Stakeholder
Meetings, 4) Current and Future Funding Opportunities and Strategies, and 5) Results
Summary and Data Maps.

Tillamook Lightwave IGA – $147,000
This grant will support Tillamook Lightwave’s work on comprehensive business
planning and preliminary engineering. Consultant services (95%) by NoaNet will
include business planning, preliminary engineering, stakeholder engagement, and
market analysis. Administrative oversight by Tillamook Lightwave staff is also
included as 5% of the grant project cost.

Greater Eastern Oregon Development Corporation – $149,449
The grant will conduct two Rapid Design Studies that are inclusive of elements of a
strategic plan, a feasibility study, and a business plan: one for the study area, which
is the County, excluding Tribal lands, and one within the geographic boundaries of
the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation (CTUIR). There will be
two separate licenses for these Rapid Design Studies, which will use publicly
available data. Project deliverables include 1) Strategic Plan and Feasibility Plan for
County, 2) Feasibility Study CTUIR, 3) Preliminary Engineering – Inland Development
Corporation/Windwave, 4) Preliminary Engineering – Wtechlink, 5) Preliminary
Engineering – Blue Mountain Networks, and 6) Grant Administration.

Gilliam County – $150,000
This grant will create design plans for multiple broadband segments to bring them to
shovel-ready status. It will leverage BTAP funding to conduct preliminary
engineering work, field surveying (pole data/conduit surveying), engineering and
network design, and to pay for consulting and legal expenses associated with
permitting. The project will have two phases: Phase I – Final Route Planning &
Preliminary Design, Phase II – Field Data, Collection, Final Design, and Permitting.

Josephine County – $150,000
This grant will support Josephine County’s efforts to attain a consultant who will
perform Strategic and Feasibility planning services as well as 1) Stakeholder meeting
engagement, permitting analysis, 2) RFP and selection for lead applicant for BEAD
program and application preparation, 3) serve as the County Broadband Coordinator
and grant detailed activities.

Wheeler County – $262,800
This grant will support Wheeler County as they assess the feasibility of alternative
broadband solutions in all of Wheeler County, all of Sherman County, and the portion
of Grant County described in the study area section of the proposal. Wheeler
County’s work plan includes 1) an Inventory of existing network infrastructure, 2) an
Inventory of existing capacity, 3) Take-rate surveys, and outreach, 4) determining
network total capacity need, 5) an analysis/comparison of network options, and 6)
develop a financial model for proposed network.

Inland Development Corporation – $300,000
Inland Development Corporation will utilize BTAP funds to conduct Feasibility
Studies and Preliminary Engineering work in unserved and underserved locations in
Union and Baker, counties to plan shovel-ready projects for reliable broadband

City of John Day – $65,000
The City of John Day will use BTAP funds to perform preliminary engineering,
administrative, legal, and professional support to complete Special Award
Conditions for the three broadband segments primarily funded for construction by
an Economic Development Administration (EDA) grant.

Morrow County Broadband Network Consortium – $79,161
The Morrow County Broadband Network Consortium will use BTAP funds to conduct
preliminary engineering work, field surveying, engineering, and network design, and
to pay for consulting and legal expenses associated with permitting. These activities
will bring multiple broadband infrastructure project areas in Morrow County up to

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