Oregon's internet use was pretty average in 2007, with just over two thirds of households having internet service and 10% still getting dial-up from their ISP. The average download speed in 2009 was 4.8 mbps, which actually fell from 5.0 mbps the previous year and put it in 29th place. A 2009 report by Oregon's Public Utility Commission showed a continuing drop in the number of telephone lines in the state, speculating that this was partly due to customer's dispensing with a second line when switching to DSL or cable for broadband internet services. The Business Oregon website claims the state has a world-class telecommunications infrastructure with multiple fiber optic cable backbone networks, which rather conflicts with the average performance figures.
2009 saw the creation of a Broadband Advisory Council to ensure the implementation of statewide broadband service strategies. The Council is composed of state and city representatives as well as internet providers. In December 2009, the state received $2.1 million in stimulus funding to map and plan broadband availability. Oregon had earlier submitted ten projects to the NTIA for funding out of a total of 63 applications received.
Local internet provider BendBroadband, which has been operating out of Central Oregon since 1955 (obviously not providing broadband back then when they were originally called Bend Cable!), caused a stir in December 2009 by promising to supply the country's fastest wireless internet access. This is based on the High Speed Packet Access Plus (HSPA+) standard and can deliver download speeds up to 15 mbps, although 6-8 mbps is more realistic. The company aims to extend its network throughout the state, which may spread the availability of wifi hotspots that are currently mainly around the north and west of Oregon.
Heavily influenced by the Pacific Ocean, Oregon's climate is generally mild with periods of extreme heat and cold. The landscape varies from scenic coastline through volcanic mountains to high deserts.
Oregon is the leading US producer of softwood lumber although timber production has reduced tremendously due to forest fires, over-harvesting and law suits. The state has fertile agricultural land and it produces 95% of the domestic hazelnuts in the US. High technology industries and services are major employers and the state's largest for-profit employer is Intel. Portland is the largest city followed by Eugene, Salem, the state capital, and Gresham.
You can check for providers in your city using our search function: Portland Internet Service Providers
Cities in Oregon likely to have, or soon to receive, fiber optic cable internet services include Portland, Salem, Eugene, Gresham, Hillsboro and Beaverton. Locations in OR with highest population counts will be targeted first by providers, though relatively high speeds can be achieved with dial-up or DSL through companies such as Netzero and Charter Communications Cable.