Camas-Washhougal Port Commissioner Pushes Dark Fiber-The Columbian

2021-11-26 07:15:44 By : Ms. vivian Lu

Camas-Washougal Port Commissioner John Spencer is concerned that many residents of Clark County lack reliable high-speed Internet access. He also worried that no one would take any action on this.

Spencer said at a virtual conference on September 15th at the port: "I have a general fear. It can be said to be dramatic. I don't see any activity." "I keep hearing people talking about it, but I I didn’t see anyone stepping up, which made me worried. That’s why I proposed this. I began to think, “If no one else does this, should we do it? But are we really capable? Or is there something? Ways to urge (Clark Utilities) to do more?"

The commissioners instructed Port Executive David Rip to contact the leaders of Clark Utilities to discuss this issue, which became more apparent during the COVID-19 pandemic, which forced more people to work from home.

Dark fiber is a fiber infrastructure that has not been "lit" or put into use by service providers. Dark fiber leasing requires customers, not service providers, to maintain and operate the equipment needed to "light up" the fiber and use it for Internet access and communications.

In March 2018, Governor Jay Insley signed the Alternative Housing Act No. 2664, which gave the Port of Washington the opportunity to develop open-access broadband infrastructure to lease to all interested service providers.

Rip said at the September 15th meeting: "From a legislative point of view, the port has the ability to manage, develop, build, and lay, whatever you want to say, it is a dark fiber." "We don't have the legislative power to run it. , But we have the ability to lay it underground or run it along power lines or anything else. Our goal is to lease the line from this investment to Comcast, Ziply or who will run it. (But) I I hope Clark Public Utilities can take the lead in this regard."

Commissioner Casey Marshall agreed, calling the lack of reliable high-speed Internet service "a big problem." Commissioner Larry Keister also stated that he would like to know more before deciding how the port should handle the matter.

Bryan Rachal, head of communications for the city of Camas, told the port leaders, “Although we understand the importance of broadband, it is not necessarily our main priority at the moment, because we are about to hold elections, new chief executives, new mayors and our There are many other things on the file of concern."

Washougal resident and business owner Martha Martin expressed her strong support for improving Internet services, saying the topic "has been in everyone's mind for a long time."

"I know some people are worried about insufficient services in rural areas, and they are not getting enough services," she said. "I work in a rural area; I now come to you through Ziply DSL, and it fails regularly. This is unreliable. Just because there are not so many people does not mean that demand is not that important.... I know this How important it is to people, not only in the city, not only in the port buildings, but also around your area, it’s huge."