Business Oregon Announces Partnership to Advance Oregon Broadband

Business Oregon announces its contract with Columbia Telecommunications Corporation, dba CTC Technology and Energy, as the planning consultant for the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) program and Digital Equity (DE) programs for the Oregon Broadband Office (OBO). Together, CTC and OBO staff, with input from the Oregon Broadband Advisory Council and stakeholders, will develop plans to make internet accessible, affordable, and reliable via high-speed broadband for all Oregonians.

This is a critical moment in the history of telecommunications in the state of Oregon. High-speed internet access is a necessity for all Americans regardless of their age, race, income, living space, native language, resources available to them, and specific challenges they may face in their daily lives. With the passage of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, the state of Oregon, led by Business Oregon and the Oregon Broadband Office, is partnering with CTC to assess and resolve the state’s broadband needs through the creation of a five-year Action Plan, BEAD Initial Proposal, and BEAD Final Proposal to the NTIA as well as a Statewide Digital Equity Plan.

The consulting contract allows Business Oregon to pursue the state’s one-time opportunity to access millions in federal funding to invest in broadband infrastructure and support digital adoption programs to take significant steps toward closing the digital divide. The contract deliverables and tasks are requirements of two federal grants that the state has been awarded. These deliverables are the next step to planning for broadband deployment projects, devices, training and technical support for new computer users and users who need additional support.

CTC Technology and Energy is an established, woman-owned consulting firm that offers independent strategic, technical, and financial guidance primarily to public sector and non-profit entities such as state, county, and local governments including many Oregon and northwestern localities, and Tribal governments. CTC offers 40 years of experience and expertise in all aspects of broadband programs, including but not limited to broadband policy, network engineering, cost modeling, needs assessment and public surveys, grant applications and management, business planning and feasibility studies, public-private partnership development, stakeholder and community engagement, permitting reform and governance design, and a comprehensive suite of digital equity analysis, program development, and management services.

“We welcome CTC Technology and Energy to our team and cannot wait to begin working together,” said Nick Batz, Director of the Oregon Broadband Office. “The Oregon Broadband Office has brought on several talented new staff members lately and CTC will be an incredible addition to our hardworking team. I am looking forward to working with CTC to increase broadband access for all Oregonians.”

CTC Technology and Energy will complete in-depth stakeholder engagement and surveys and will develop broadband educational materials to help government and community leaders better understand the technical, financial, and policy aspects of planning and executing sustainable broadband strategies. They will develop training materials and a series of webinars to provide direct assistance to stakeholders at their level—whether they are just beginning to consider broadband strategy for public-private collaboration or are seeking to improve their work to encourage private broadband investment in their communities. This partnership with CTC Technology and Energy will assist the OBO in reducing barriers for communities to achieve broadband access and meeting the specific educational and support needs of those communities.

Business Oregon, the state’s economic development agency, invests in Oregon businesses, communities, and people to promote a globally competitive, diverse, and inclusive economy. The agency’s services span rural community development and infrastructure financing; business retention, expansion and recruitment; export promotion and international trade; investments in industry research and development and entrepreneurship; small business assistance; and support for arts and cultural organizations. Learn more about the Oregon Broadband Office at www.oregon.gov/biz.

Published: Friday, April 7, 2023 by CTC Technology & Energy