Featured Project: Speed Up America
Tech Oregon is taking over a project to bring more effective Internet speed mapping to citizens across the country. The city of Louisville started the project by building an open source solution to test Internet speeds, collect anonymized information on service quality and pricing, and map regional data for public access. The technology allows residents to see actual Internet speeds delivered at a census tract level. The Technology Association of Oregon plans to expand on Louisville’s work and extend the mapping service nationwide.
- SpeedUpLouisville.com and SpeedUpSanJose.com
- Blog post on: The Pathway Forward for Mapping Broadband Speeds in America
- M-Lab speed test
Modern Acceleration in a Mountainous Location.
At the western edge of the Cascade Mountains, the Eugene-Springfield area is a hidden gem of American industriousness and idea generation. Long known for its beautiful surrounding lands and boundless options for recreational activities—as well as the home of the University of Oregon (UO)—one might be tempted to mistake it for a just a college town out west that happens to be more picturesque than some. But in Eugene-Springfield, ancient environs stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the radical advancements of the future. A burgeoning tech sector is bringing new life to the downtown area, where leading-edge institutions and companies cluster and connect with start-ups, business incubators, and accelerators.
In the last 5 years, Eugene-Springfield’s public and private sector have invested a combined $300 million in the downtown office, retail, and housing space. And now that this incredible “Innovation District” is fully fleshed-out, it’s time to determine how business, government, and citizens can work together to make real innovation happen for years to come.
At the center of this collaboration is the network provided by EUGNet, the largest ‘open access’ fiber network in Oregon. Downtown Eugene is also home to open access high-speed fiber provided through a partnership between the City of Eugene, Eugene Water and Electric Board, and Lane Council of Governments. The fiber provides connection to major peering points (allowing two internet networks to connect and exchange traffic without involving a third party) in Portland and San Jose, which have lowered the costs for ISPs and their customers. This expanded connection has enabled providers to offer gigabit and multi-gigabit services for public agencies across all of Lane County, including isolated rural communities, and all the K-12 School Districts. It is a bridge for the digital divide.
And gigabit technology is supercharging the incredible resources available to Eugene-Springfield residents through the University of Oregon, such as a 50-million-pixel PSC Visualization Lab screen and the Titan $5 million 3D microscope at Lorry I. Lokey Laboratories. With new internet capabilities in Lane County K-12 schools, students could experience firsthand the groundbreaking work in the biological sciences and chemistry happening at UO as it’s beamed right into their classrooms. Currently, a new facility is being built around a new $2 million supercomputing cluster also available to the public at the University. With extensive computing power and high-quality data storage systems, the possibilities for use with smart gigabit applications are mind-boggling.