Neighborhoods getting on board for broadband

Wondering if broadband is coming to your neighborhood? Now you can go online to see where in the San Juans high-speed internet is going to be installed.

In mid-February, Orcas Power and Light Cooperative announced it had acquired Rock Island Communications. The company merged its staff, infrastructure and operations with OPALCO to deliver broadband services for homes and businesses in San Juan County.

As the parent company, OPALCO is providing the funding for start-up costs and working capital for the new entity. The business plan (available at www.opalco.com) projects a positive return on the total investment by 2020. After Rock Island Communications has met that goal, the business will grow at the rate of member demand, potentially creating a new revenue stream for OPALCO.

A total of 80 neighborhoods in the county are currently in the design process. The areas that are most advanced in the process and  under construction are Cape San Juan and Mineral Point on San Juan Island and Eagle Lake on Orcas.

To see the map of upcoming broadband sites, go here and scroll down to the bottom of the page.

“This is how we hope to keep folks informed of the rapidly changing process,” said Operations Superintendent Tom Schramm. “Things are moving quickly.”