County OKs bond to boost Internet in city

Project to affect users within Lebanon boundaries

Linn County Commissioners Roger Nyquist, Sherrie Sprenger and Will Tucker on Tuesday, Dec. 13, approved a tax-exempt bond program that will help PEAK Internet run more than 101 miles of high-speed fiber optic lines in the city of Lebanon, greatly increasing Internet speed opportunities for homes and businesses.
The project will also affect users who live on Linn County properties within Lebanon’s boundaries. The city has already approved the project.
PEAK Internet CEO Rick Petersen said the company will use up to $47 million secured by tax exempt bonds issued by the Arizona Industrial Development Authority.
Board Chairman Nyquist expressed concern that the project might encumber Linn County residents in some fashion, but Petersen said the bonds would be repaid through user fees and that residents would not be responsible for any of the debt except via these monthly fees if they sign up for the high-speed service.
PEAK Internet is owned by Consumers Power of Philomath.
According to information provided to the commissioners, about 45% of the fiber optic lines will be buried and 55% will be installed on Pacific Power’s above-ground poles. The project will provide one gigabit fiber connection to every customer on the network.
PEAK Internet has been working toward this goal since 2018 and has previously installed fiber optic lines in the Lebanon area to about 350 customers.
The COVID-19 pandemic slowed the new project’s timeline, Petersen said, but a contractor is ready to begin work after the first of the new year.