Tillamook Lightwave was born with the creation of an Oregon ORS Chapter 190 Intergovernmental Agreement between Tillamook People's Utility District, the Port of Tillamook Bay and Tillamook County on November 1, 2000.
To provide affordable broadband telecom services through public/private partnerships to benefit the communities we serve.
The vision of the consortium is to combine public and private resources to create a high speed telecommunication system that will:
In 2005 Lightwave constructed a fiber network that runs from the North Tillamook County Cable Landing Station at Nedonna Beach, south along the railroad tracks to Tillamook where the cable runs on overhead lines to the Tillamook PUD office. From the PUD office, the fiber extends southward past the high school and out to the Port's industrial park south of Tillamook. The plan is to extend fiber into South County when funds become available. This communications infrastructure will enable both the private sector and government entities access to affordable broadband connectivity.
In addition, since 1998, North Tillamook County has landed several trans-Pacific submarine cables.
TLW recently received congressional recognition from Congresswoman Darlene Hooley. Hooley authored a statement entitled "New Economy Must Not Leave Rural Areas Behind." She stated, "The Internet can be a boon to rural economies, allowing them to gain access to markets that have never been within reach to traditional 'bricks and mortar' businesses." Hooley has co-authored the Minge-Hooley-Baird comprehensive Rural Telecommunications Act of 2000 which will help bring broadband to rural areas.
Tillamook Lightwave (TLW) received a 2005 federal appropriation administered through the Department of Health and Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration in the amount of $400,000. Congresswoman Darlene Hooley was instrumental in obtaining this funding. Her insight into the needs of rural America has been the cornerstone of Tillamook Lightwave’s progress.
The purpose of the grant funding was to enable telemedicine to be established between the Tillamook County Hospital and Tillamook County Health Departments, provide for distance learning opportunities for the medical community of Tillamook County, and enable a more rapid sharing of patient data between the Tillamook County Hospital and designated trauma hospitals in Portland.
The first phase was to install fiber within the City of Tillamook connecting the Tillamook County Hospital to the Tillamook County Health Department, Emergency 911 Center and Tillamook County Court House. NorthSky Communications was awarded the bid for the City of Tillamook fiber installation. In conjunction with the NorthSky contract, TLW worked with Tillamook PUD to construct a fiber line to a Point of Presence installed in Tillamook PUD for a connection to LS Networks who leases BPA fiber to Portland. The Tillamook PUD has provided the critical connection Point of Presence in their facility and temporary office space as a portion of their contribution to the TLW partnership. The official lighting ceremony for this initial connection was held at the PUD on Friday, April 29, 2005.
The second phase was to blow fiber into an existing duct in Port of Tillamook Bay railroad right-of-way, from the Nedonna Beach Cable Landing Station to the City of Tillamook. Henkels & McCoy was awarded the bid and completed the project in July of 2005. The network now consists of 26 miles of fiber connecting five cities, Tillamook County Health Departments and several other businesses.