Marion County Economic Broadband Initiative
Goal: To improve broadband in the county to enhance economic development, access to education, public safety, access to healthcare, and overall quality of life through improved livability.
The county does not intend to be a broadband provider but rather to help identify barriers to accessible, reliable, and affordable broadband, and to help convene broadband providers to enhance broadband services to underserved areas.
Rural Broadband Survey
Access to fiber-based broadband internet is incredibly important for success in rural communities. Whether it's deploying technology in your fields, having access to online markets, or simply connecting with family and friends, internet access is and increasingly will be a cornerstone of farming. To better serve its residents, Marion County is actively working to connect fiber-based internet access to growers and rural households in your area.
Marion County is engaging with private Internet Service Providers to expand access to broadband fiber at speeds up to symmetrical 100Mbps/100Mbps. Completing this survey will help the County build a comprehensive list of areas without access to or with limited access to broadband internet. High speed internet is crucial to supporting farmers by increasing their operating efficiency, lowering costs, and ensuring consistency in a fluctuating climate.
this survey does not guarantee that fiber broadband internet can be
deployed in your area, it will help us plan strategic
investments where services are most needed. Feel free to share this
survey with your neighbors who may be willing to participate. We are also
willing talk over the phone if internet access makes completing this survey
This survey will take roughly 5 minutes to complete. Your help is greatly appreciated!
Rural Broadband Survey
Broadband is Essential
Broadband internet is essential infrastructure for everything from education, healthcare, to the economy. While the recent pandemic highlighted internet access problems across the U.S., our economic development team has been working diligently to expand broadband internet access throughout the county since 2016, when we received a grant from USDA Rural Develpment to complete a broadband market analysis.
In 2019, Marion County finalized its first strategic broadband plan with the help of broadband consultants. That plan and the previous North Santiam Broadband Business Analysis resluted in four specific goals for the County to target:
- Small City Policy Development for 5G Readiness
- Shared Infrastructure Trenching Policy Development in County Public Rights of Way
- Broadband Buildout in the North Santiam Canyon
- Connecting Agriculture Communities and businesses to Broadband Fiber
Making it Happen
Since 2019, Marion County has been working to address these goals by participating in public-private partnerships and supporting both local communities and internet service providers seeking to expand broadband access. We've worked with Jefferson and Silverton to develop local plicies that support broadband deployments and 5G technology. The County partnered with DataVision Co-Op in a cost sharing agreement to lay broadband fiber along Wheatland Road and Methany Road to the Wheatland Ferry. With the help of Ziply Fiber, broadband fiber was built out to Detroit and Idanha in the North Santiam Canyon after the wildfires.
Currently, Marion County has partnered with St. Paul Co-Op Telephone Association to complete a broadband fiber project along Arbor Grove Road. In each of these cases, Marion County has worked to create real economic value and benefit to its residents and businesses. The County intends to keep working towards achieving the goals it set in 2019.
Why Broadband Fiber?
The deployment of fiber broadband infrastructure is the best way to enjure high quality, future ready internet access throughout Marion County. Compared to other technology such as cable, DSL, line of sight microwave or satellite, fiber optic broadband is capable of much higher speeds and evolving with advancements in digital technology. Accordingly, Marion County has made expanding fiber-based broadband access to its residents and businesses a priority.
Future Fiber Deployments
Marion County will not provide direct internet service to customers, we will
continue to work with communities and existing internet service providers to
expand fiber-based broadband access throughout the county. In 2022, our focus
will specifically be on working with internet service providers to build out
broadband fiber in agricultural communities and other fire-impacted communities
in the North Santiam Canyon. Marion County’s goal is to ensure that all its
residents have access to reliable internet that is easily accessible and
As we progress towards that goal, follow this page for updates. For more information, please contact Eli Heindricks at 971-209-9606 or by email at EHeindricks@co.marion.or.us