June 26, 2023

Wyden Applauds Unprecedented Nearly $700 Million to Expand Broadband Access Across Oregon

Funding Comes After Wyden Successfully Fought to Fix Inaccurate FCC Maps so Oregon Received Hundreds of Millions More in Broadband Dollars

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today applauded the announcement that Oregon will receive a record $689 million to expand access to broadband internet to rural and underserved communities - the largest single broadband grant in Oregon’s history. 

“Today’s announcement of nearly $700 million to boost broadband access could be life-changing for Oregonians across our state. In rural Oregon, a community without reliable broadband is like a farm without water - it’s not going to last very long. Just over the past few days traveling from Ontario to Burns, Baker to John Day and Joseph, I’ve heard stories of students doing their homework in the library parking lot, seniors unable to connect to crucial telehealth services and rural Oregonians paying huge amounts for unreliable broadband,” Wyden said. “I worked with Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo and Assistant Secretary Alan Davidson to ensure Oregonians got their fair share of this federal funding. And I won’t stop working until every Oregonian has reliable, affordable broadband access.”

Wyden successfully fought to correct inaccuracies in the National Broadband Map that would have cost Oregon hundreds of millions of dollars in grants. The original map incorrectly listed thousands of homes and businesses as being served by broadband, based on false information provided  by internet service providers. 

Wyden received a commitment from Secretary Raimondo in January to fix out-of-date broadband maps before federal BEAD grants were distributed to states. He had previously hosted an open-to-all Oregonians forum on improving the maps, alongside the Federal Communications Commission and the National Telecommunications Information Administration (NTIA), and he worked on a bipartisan basis to highlight ongoing concerns. He has long championed expanding broadband access to rural and underserved areas of Oregon and across the United States.