A Primer on Local Internet Service
By Paul Recanzone
In an interesting bit of Oregon history, Willamette Falls Electric Co. used experimental Westinghouse AC generators to perform the world’s first long-distance transmission of alternating current electricity in 1890. Electricity was being produced, used and transported well before Willamette Falls Electric installed Westinghouse generators, but this daring venture opened the doors for the power infrastructure we have today.
It would take years before electricity became an essential utility and even more time before power was brought to Agness in 1962. It took more than 70 years from the first transmission of electricity for Agness to receive power.
In 1969, three universities and a research institute connected computers in California and Utah and created the internet. Data was being produced, used and transported before the Advanced Research Projects Agency Network created the internet, but its bold endeavor opened the doors for the internet infrastructure we have today.
It would take years before the internet became an essential utility and even more time before high-speed broadband would get to Agness.
In the next few years, Coos-Curry Electric Cooperative’s wholly owned subsidiary, Beacon Broadband, will deliver the highspeed fiber experience to Agness. It’s slow coming, but Beacon Broadband is beating the timeline electricity set by more than 20 years.
As Beacon Broadband plans and builds its fiber network, it is interesting to consider the complex nature of the construction and the supported services.
The internet provides you with services as simple as email and as complex as video conferencing or online role-playing games, where multiple people on a variety of devices engage with each other in real time. In a world where Macs and PCs can’t use the same software, and Android and iOS devices require different stores, the internet makes it possible for computers, phones, watches, refrigerators, thermostats and lightbulbs to not only talk to each other but work in concert with each other. They can do it over copper lines, fiber optics or without any wires at all.
The magic that makes this possible is the separation of data communications into layers. Think of using the internet as driving on the road. The road doesn’t care what kind of car you are in as long as the car has certain attributes. Likewise, the car doesn’t care what kind of road you are driving as long as the road meets certain criteria. Furthermore, neither the car nor the road care what you do at your destination. They just need to connect you to your destination.
In similar fashion, the fiber optics Beacon Broadband is installing don’t care what kind of device you are using to connect or your desired destination. The fiber optic path simply provides a road for you to use as you need it.
Taking the analogy further, some roads cannot handle heavy vehicles, and some cars can’t travel rough roads. The fiber optic roads Beacon Broadband is building are substantial enough to handle any weight and smooth enough for any car.
Beacon Broadband is excited to bring the high-speed fiber experience where no one else will go and hopes to see you along the road.
ADOBE STOCK PHOTO BY SUNGCHOI
To learn more about the project, visit beaconbroadband.com or call 541-254-9265