State releases Draft Five-Year Broadband Action Plan

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Here is the first part of the Draft Five-Year Action Plan Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) Program released by the Oregon Broadband Office.

1. Executive summary The Oregon Broadband Office1 (OBO, an entity within the Oregon Business Development Department), the Eligible Entity for purposes of this Five-Year Action Plan, is pleased to present this Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) Program Five-Year Action Plan, which comprises a comprehensive needs assessment (including the needs of covered populations and underrepresented communities) and establishes Oregon’s goal of ensuring universal broadband service availability and increased adoption among the residents, businesses, and institutions of Oregon. 

1.1 Vision and objectives

High-speed internet access is a necessity for all Oregonians regardless of their age, race, income, living space, native language, resources available to them, and specific challenges they may face in their daily lives. 

The State’s primary goals for broadband deployment are aligned with the principal focus of the BEAD program:2 

  1. Connecting 100 percent of unserved locations (i.e., below 25/3 Mbps); 
  2. Connecting 100 percent of underserved locations (i.e., between 25/3 and 100/20 Mbps); and 
  3. Delivering gigabit connections to community anchor institutions (CAI) that do not have that level of service. Although broadband is widely available in Oregon, it is not universally available.

    This Plan builds on Oregon’s world-class telecommunications networks from undersea cables to statewide fiber optic backbone networks. Oregon Revised Statutes (ORS) 285A.166 created the Oregon Broadband Office (OBO) to “[a]dvocate for the adoption of public policies that close the continuing digital divide by removing barriers to and supporting broadband infrastructure deployment.”3

    1.2 Current state of broadband and digital inclusion Oregon is ahead of the U.S. average in internet use. According to the most recent NTIA data (November 2021), 84.1 percent of Oregon residents use internet at home (compared to a national average of 75.6 percent).4

    However, across Oregon many residents still face barriers to adoption. These barriers include access to high-speed internet, affordable service and devices, accessible devices and content, as well as digital literacy skills.

    OBO looks forward to bridging the digital divide, in part by expanding its partnerships with nonprofits, private corporations, state agencies, and tribal entities as it works to allocate, fairly and efficiently, the $689 million that the NTIA has allocated to Oregon under the BEAD program. 5

    “Access to quality internet in 2023 is critical to a community’s local economy,” Governor Tina Kotek said also acknowledging the positive impact BEAD funding will have on the state. “This substantial investment in Oregon’s broadband infrastructure will help to remedy the digital divide in rural, unserved, and underserved communities across the state, ensuring that Oregonians are able to access telehealth, business opportunities, education, and so much more.”6 “High-speed Internet is essential to our daily lives, but too many communities across our state lack access to reliable, affordable, high speed broadband speeds. We’re changing that,” emphasized Sophorn Cheang, Director, Business Oregon.7

    1.3 Obstacles or barriers Oregon faces unique obstacles and barriers to broadband deployment caused by its impressive topography. As described in greater detail in Section 4, Oregon faces natural disaster challenges from coastal hazards and tsunamis, droughts, earthquakes, extreme heat, floods, landslides, volcanos, wildfires, windstorms, and winter storms. Although state and local entities have created plans—especially for handling wildfire risks—there is a possibility that natural disaster and emergency events will affect the timelines in this Plan, even as broadband networks help any affected communities recover. 1.4 Implementation plan This Plan presents the state’s estimated costs, timeline, and strategies for achieving universal service—along with strategies related to remedying inequities in digital inclusion (see Section 5).

1.4.1 Priorities OBO staff have actively worked to build trusting relationships with stakeholders and the public through longstanding collaboration and advocacy. OBO’s comprehensive stakeholder engagement is described in Section 5.1. OBO has kept stakeholders informed about the BEAD program as information became available, and outreach and engagement is ongoing. 1.4.2 Estimated timeline and cost for universal service NTIA allocated $688,914,932.17 to Oregon under the BEAD program to help close the broadband gap in the state. Oregon projects, however, it cannot achieve universal service with BEAD program funding alone. Oregon estimates that current funding, subject to assumptions described in Section 5, will deliver broadband to most but not all of the unserved and underserved addresses in Oregon. Oregon will adhere to the timeline requirements of the BEAD program. Construction will take longer where larger-scale deployment is needed, where geography is challenging, or where Oregon’s unique topography, geography, and history require extra care and permitting.


  1. Oregon Broadband Office, 
  2. “NOFO: BEAD Program,” NTIA, 05/BEAD%20NOFO.pdf, p. 7. 
  3. ORS 285A.166, “Oregon Broadband Office,” See also “Broadband Program Development,” OBO,
  4. “Digital Nation Data Explorer: Internet Use at Home,” NTIA, November 2021 data, 
  5. “Biden-Harris Administration Announces State Allocations for $42.45 Billion High-Speed Internet Grant Program as Part of Investing in America Agenda,” NTIA Press Release, June 26, 2023,;  “Oregon to Receive $689 Million for Broadband Infrastructure,” State of Oregon, June 26, 2023, 
  6. “Oregon to Receive $689 Million for Broadband Infrastructure,” State of Oregon, June 26, 2023, 
  7. “Oregon to Receive $689 Million for Broadband Infrastructure,” State of Oregon, June 26, 2023,

The full draft can be found at

It is open for comments for a very short window due to federal deadline. 

By Oregon Broadband Office

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