In 2000, Clackamas County commissioned the County-wide Communications Needs Assessment and Feasibility Study (Study) as a means to better understand the County’s communications situation. The Study revealed that the County was in need of access to affordable, advanced communications infrastructure and services. The 2000 Study identified several unique challenges that Clackamas County faces that contributed to the difficulty of obtaining the needed infrastructure and services; these unique challenges remain for the County today including:
In February 2009, the United State Congress enacted the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) commonly known as the economic stimulus bill. Through ARRA, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) was provided $4.7 billion to fund projects across the United States aimed at expanding access to broadband services. Specifically, the funding was designated "to support the deployment of broadband infrastructure, enhance and expand public computer centers, encourage sustainable adoption of broadband service, and develop and maintain a nationwide public map of broadband service capability and availability." i
The Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) was established to administer the funds received through ARRA. Clackamas County submitted a grant outlining plans for the construction of 180 miles of dark fiber-optic cable instrastructure to nearly 160 anchor sites throughout the County. The grant was submitted under the Comprehensive Community Infrastructure category, one of three BTOP categories. The Comprehensive Community Infrastructure category was intended for "projects to deploy new or improved broadband internet facilities (e.g., laying new fiber-optic cables or upgrading wireless towers) and to connect "community anchor institutions" such as schools, libraries, hospitals, and public safety facilities." ii
In June 2010 Clackamas County was awarded a BTOP grant for $7.8 million – the largest such recipient in Oregon – to develop the Clackamas Broadband Express (CBX). In addition to the BTOP grant, the County pledged to contribute the required $3.3 million in matching funds for a total project cost of $11.1 million. This funding opportunity made it possible for the County to begin to meet the advanced communications needs identified in the 2000 Study.
Clackamas County released a Request for Proposal (RFP) for a design and construction contract in October of 2010. The contract was awarded to North Sky Communications of Vancouver, Washington in partnership with Engineering Associates, Inc. in November 2010. In December 2010, the County began the environmental assessment process required by BTOP to allow construction of both aerial and underground fiber infrastructure. Final approval of the environmental assessment was received by the County’s BTOP grant administrators in January 2011.
Construction of phase one of the CBX began in March 2011. At the end of April, nearly 10,000 feet of fiber, almost two miles, had been placed in the Oregon City area. An additional 43 miles of fiber is expected to be completed over the next several months. Subsequent CBX construction will be carried out in several phases over the next 2 ½ years with a completion date of no later than June 2013.
i BroadbandUSA: Connecting America’s Communities - About
Clackamas County is constructing 180 miles of dark fiber broadband infrastructure through Oregon City, Milwaukie, Gladstone, Damascus, Boring, Sandy, Estacada, Colton, Molalla and Canby. Construction of the Clackamas Broadband Express consists of two rings – one small ring within the heavily populated northwest portion of the county, and one large ring through the heart of the county. An additional segment of fiber infrastructure will be constructed along Oregon Highway 26 from Sandy to Government Camp.
The County is also working on projects that will be funded outside of the BTOP grant, including an extension of CBX to Wilsonville, as well as connections to the networks at the State of Oregon, and Washington and Multnomah Counties.
Although Clackamas County is managing the construction of CBX, it will not provide any direct retail broadband services to homes, public entities or private businesses. The County’s role is to build the dark fiber infrastructure and make it available to public agencies and private telecommunications companies through lease agreements.
As planned, the CBX will initially benefit a number of identified "community anchor institutions." These include public agencies and service providers such as schools, police, fire, libraries, healthcare centers, governments, transportation facilities and utility companies and cooperatives. In addition, CBX will benefit current broadband service providers and businesses throughout the county by providing nondiscriminatory, cost effective, high speed infrastructure.
Clackamas Broadband Express will allow service providers to expand and enhance services and improve service delivery to their customers, as well as assist local businesses in becoming more viable in a global marketplace. The CBX will also provide key infrastructure for attracting new businesses to the County, in turn facilitating crucial economic development.
Clackamas County has several project partners including Clackamas Educational Service District, SandyNet and Clackamas Community College. In addition to partnerships with public entities, the County has, and will continue to reach out to private telecommunications companies and other service providers to establish strategic relationships. Two utility agencies, Portland General Electric and Water Environment Services, are also partners of the CBX effort.
This Statement applies to the fiber/network resources that are part of the Clackamas Broadband Express (CBX). This does not apply to other County fiber resources or resources owned by partner institutions/companies that may be connected to and/or providing services to the CBX.
The CBX operates in adherence to the rules and regulations of the National Telecommunications & Information Administration (NTIA).
Clackamas County is solely responsible for the operation of the fiber infrastructure and private network services to County facilities. All other services, including but not limited to Internet Service Providers, Telecommunications, Cable TV, etc., are the responsibility of local, independent service providers. The CBX does not provide services except to County supported facilities.
CBX will offer physical interconnection with requesting parties via allocation of dark fiber to the requesting party for purposes of transport anywhere on the CBX. The CBX is non-discriminatory and open to any requesting party. Utilization of the dark fiber is not restricted and is open to use as necessary for the requesting party within the resources allocated by CBX. Such interconnection arrangements are subject to:
The CBX does not apply any network traffic prioritization, and will not favor any lawful applications or content over others. The CBX will not filter any content or service except to County supported facilities or in cases of violation of interconnection agreements.
CBX network operation and management practices will adhere to the principles of the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Broadband Policy Statement (FCC 05-151):
For more information on the CBX project, please visit our project page on the BroadbandUSA website.