Mayor Lucy Vinnis
“Twenty years ago, we rallied against becoming a ‘digital dustbowl’ as we saw larger urban areas like Seattle and Portland were seeing broadband fiber development and competition. Ten years ago our elected officials concluded broadband was an essential utility. Today, supported by a public-private stakeholder Community Broadband Plan, we have been piloting and implementing a series of initiatives and projects to increase digital inclusion and support the workforce of 202x. We are embracing the value of affordability for our emerging tech-hub businesses by fostering high-speed broadband competition and choice in the downtown core to lower prices. Eugene is a Mozilla City, a designation that has brought grant funding for localized technology innovations. Eugene has been named a Top Ten IT Recruitment City. We find value in private -public partnerships. We are looking forward to the 2021 IAAF World Championships where the world will visit Eugene and reliance on broadband readiness will be tested.”
“NCC is the collaborator we need to tie our municipalities together with shared knowledge and to tie national municipal association coalitions together in a unified message touting local government successes and resisting challenges and threats.”
Since the day in 1997 the city council voted 8:0 on its Telecommunications Vision and Policies, to a 1999 vote of the electorate to add telecommunications to the Eugene Municipal Electric and Water utility’s services, to our 2013 Eugene Community Broadband Plan, Eugene has focused on a pilot-project approach to improving Eugene as a Broadband Community. Find our Visions and Policies and our Eugene Community Broadband Plan at www.eugene-or.gov/telecom.
Twenty-one of the 22 Eugene Community Broadband Plan objectives have been piloted or implemented to date. The Eugene Plan is broadening in 2019 as a Eugene-Springfield Regional Plan. Follow that work at www.connectingoregon.org. Eugene’s EugNet (www.eugnet.org), initially a pilot test, installed 6 pair of fiber inside electric conduit in an open source public-private sector project to promote competition and choice in our downtown core, the home to an expanding set of tech-hub businesses. EugNet has expanded to almost 100 additional buildings and has received innovation award recognitions along the way.
Our youth coding collaboration with K-12, our colleges, and our tech-business mentors received a national digital literacy award. Eugene’s next set of initiatives involve developing community-wide public agency approaches to fostering open data initiatives, and implementing efficient transportation wayfinding applications in preparation for the influx of visitors to the area for the 2020 Olympic Trials and the 2021 IAFF World Championships.