Willamina is receiving a state of the art fiber-optic Internet network. It will be the 4th 10 Gigabit city in the nation! But what does that mean exactly? Read on to find out what this could mean for the community, and for you!
10 Gig refers to the speed in which data can flow over the Internet. A 10 Gig network transfers the data at 10 gigabit per second, an astonishingly fast rate. There are only three other cities in the entire United States that have Internet networks that are this fast.
Simply put, a fiber optic network uses optical fiber cable that is made of strands of glass that are in the ground or on telephone poles. In the old days, telephone companies used copper wires to connect us together for phone service. Then came the cable companies that used coaxial cables to deliver video content to our homes. Both of those technologies were then adapted to be used for Internet communication. Copper (using, what is called, DSL technology) is limited by the distance from the transmitter, so the farther away you are the slower the speed you’ll get. Coaxial cable was primarily designed for watching video, so Internet upload speeds are much slower than download (generally about 1/10th the speed).
Fiber-optic technology was specifically designed for the Internet, so it is much faster and more reliable than these earlier technologies. Importantly, upload and download speeds are identical, making it much easier to transfer large files. It works by using lasers to transmit information at the speed of light! With fiber-optic internet, and with the latest technology standards, you can now achieve 10 gigabits of up and download speeds. Furthermore, the speeds that you can send over those networks will increase in the future, as new lasers and standards are developed.
Why it Matters
The problems that Willamina faces are similar to communities all around the country. But with a world-class infrastructure, Willamina will be able to fully participate in the opportunities that are quickly emerging in a new global digital economy. We can create more opportunities and options for our future generations. And by putting the fastest Internet possible in a small rural community we are making a statement that even our rural communities not only deserve but will need the very best Internet infrastructures as we create new economic opportunities for our families.