Oregon is expected to get between $400 million and $1 billion from the federal government over several years to expand broadband access.  Secretary of State Shemia Fagan said an audit of the Oregon Broadband Office finds it needs funding to add staff, to administer and distribute the funds.


“The Broadband Office will need to focus additional efforts in strategic planning, work transparently with stakeholders, and remove barriers to broadband implementation.”


Federal grants include around $5 million to expand the department's staff.


“In total, our auditors made ten recommendations that, if implemented, will increase the Broadband Office’s ability to bring every Oregonian online and close the digital gaps that currently do divide our state.”


Auditors also say the office needs to engage with communities to make sure the funds are distributed equitably.  Roughly 50% of low-income Oregonians don't have internet access.


If you have a story idea for the PNW Ag Network, call (509) 547-9791, or e-mail glenn.vaagen@townsquaremedia.com 

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