From: Pam Girtman, Clackamas County Public and Government Affairs, 503-742-4353 Date: 9-20-12

Clackamas County

Media and Interested Parties

Clackamas County fiber optic network receives national award

Clackamas County’s fiber optic cable network, called Clackamas Broadband Express (CBX), has been honored as co-Community Broadband Fiber Network of the Year by the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors (NATOA). NATOA is a national association representing local governmental entities that oversee communications, broadband and technology. The county will receive its award at NATOA’s annual conference in New Orleans Sept. 27-29.

NATOA’s Community Broadband awards honor exceptional leaders and innovative programs that champion community interests and broadband deployment in local communities nationwide.

Clackamas County’s CBX fiber network is a 170-mile fiber optic network around the county and stretches from Oregon City to Government Camp. In addition to the fiber optic backbone, the network will bring new or enhanced fiber optic connections to about 150 public agencies that lie near the backbone. The county network only provides "dark fiber," and the County will not offer telephone, cable TV or Internet services directly to the public.

The Clackamas Education Service District and the City of Sandy are partners in the grant. CBX — managed by David Soloos of the Technology Services (TS) Department — was singled out for building an exemplary public middle-mile fiber infrastructure to bridge urban, suburban and rural regions.

"Summer construction has been robust and we are on schedule to complete the backbone rings this coming fall, with the last public agencies connected in the winter and early spring." said Dave Cummings, director of the TS Department. "The first goal for the summer was to complete over 20 more miles of fiber-optic infrastructure for an overall total of about 155 miles of fiber. A second goal was to complete another 35 connections to public agencies and community anchor institutions by the end of September, bringing the total to about 115 anchor sites connected." Cummings is proud that both goals were met.

"Portland General Electric has also been incredible to work with," said Soloos. "They have gone above and beyond in streamlining the project for us and allowing us to access and attach our fiber cables to about 3,500 of their poles."

"We are thrilled to recognize such a broad spectrum of people, communities and organizations that lead the nation in advocating for and improving government and public options in broadband technology," said Joanne Hovis, president of the NATOA Board. "These pioneers have distinguished themselves in their extraordinary efforts, achievements and innovation in community-based approaches to broadband."

In 2010 Clackamas County completed an American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA) grant application proposing the Clackamas Broadband Express, and a division of the U.S. Department of Commerce awarded the $7.8 million grant in June 2010. The county will manage the infrastructure through private contractors who will build and maintain it.

For more about the Clackamas County Broadband project, contact the CBX Office at 503-722-6663 or visit the web site at