True innovation: Fire ravaged Oregon community finds a creative solution for Internet connectivity

The Oregon wildfires of 2020. Devastating is an understatement. Many communities were razed to the ground in a matter of moments. Others had structures survive but were without left without much needed infrastructure and utilities. One of those communities — Oregon’s McKenzie River Valley — came up with a creative way of rebuilding Internet access.

Oregon’s Holiday Farm Fire left very little behind as it tore through the McKenzie River Valley east of Eugene in the fall of 2020. Cell service was eliminated as 27 miles of fiber were destroyed along with homes and businesses, leaving roughly 800 people without a way to communicate with the outside world. But the communities scattered across the valley quickly came together to create their own makeshift network using point-to-multipoint wireless. For some of them, the new DIY Internet service is delivering faster speeds than they had before.

To learn more about how the community came together to solve the problem, read “How one stranded Oregon community built its own wireless Internet network.”


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