March 18, 2017

What is EUGNet?

Q: What is EUGNet?

A: Previously referred to as the “Downtown Fiber Project,” EUGNet is an “open access” fiber optic network. The fiber strands run underground from a central exchange to individual buildings.  Open access means that the fiber strands are managed by EWEB, a public utility. Private internet service providers lease those fiber strands to serve individual businesses in the connected buildings. EUGNet’s increased speed and reduced cost is expanding in downtown Eugene and has been super charged with backbone connections to Portland and Silicon Valley.

Q: What is a Fiber Network?

A fiber network connects individual buildings to a central connection point (an ‘exchange’) with fiber-optic cable. Fiber-optic cables are thin glass strands that transmit data using light. Fiber can transmit very large amounts of data very quickly. Fiber is the most advanced technology for delivering communications.

Q: Where is the Fiber Network? Can I have a high speed fiber connection?

A: We are building the network by running fiber cables through EWEB’s existing, underground electrical conduits. The planned fiber network covers the part of downtown where the electricity lines lie underground, and where that electrical conduit has enough space to house the fiber cables.  See the project service area map to determine if your location is in the planned service area.

Q: My building is in the planned service area.  How can I get connected?

A: The fiber network is designed so that any building in the service area can be connected to the fiber network. If you are the building’s owner or property manager, you need to get on the EUGNet Sign-Up list. If you are a the building’s owner or property manager, you need to Sign Up to get on the EUGNet construction list. If you are a tenant in a building, you should contact your property manager or owner to see if they have plans to get on the EUGNet construction list.

Q: What will it cost to get connected?

A: During the downtown construction project, the one-time connection fee for each building is $2,000. After that time, property owners will have to pay the full cost of their connection, which we estimate will be about $10,000 per building. After a building is connected to EUGNet, there are no ongoing fees. Building tenants will need to pay internal service providers for ongoing internet service.

Q: My building is in the project area.  When will my building get connected?

A: EWEB will be installing fiber and connecting buildings throughout 2017 and into 2018. We will start construction along east and west Broadway and then work on the streets south of Broadway. We will begin construction north of Broadway after the southern area is completed. We will provide more details about the construction schedule as they become available.

Q: After I’m connected to the fiber network, how do I use it to get internet service?

The fiber network is an ‘open-access’ network. The EWEB owns the fiber cables and leases them out to Internet Service Providers (ISPs), and individual residents and businesses in connected building can choose service from these ISPs. ISPs can lease the fiber cables, so individual customers in the fiber network will be able to use any ISP that is working with the network. Here’s a link to the list of ISPs that are currently offering internet service using the EUGnet fiber network. In order to get internet service, you will need to contact those ISPs to determine which ISP is the best fit for your needs.

Q: I’m an ISP.  How can I become part of this network?

A: LCOG owns and operates the WIX, a carrier-neutral internet exchange. Contact LCOG to establish a presence in the WIX.

Q: Hasn’t wireless technology made fiber obsolete?

A: No.  Even wireless internet service requires a fiber network backbone.  Also, fiber to the premises is the state-of-the art solution for the growing technology sector in downtown Eugene.  It is faster, more reliable, and more secure than wireless internet.

Q: Is the City government or EWEB providing internet access?

A: Neither.  EUGNet is open access.  Any internet service provider can lease fibers on the network and serve the customers in the downtown area.

Q: This is great for the downtown, but what about the rest of Eugene? When will the network extend outside of the downtown?

A. We have been able to secure funding to build the small network in the downtown. At this time, we have not yet identified a funding source to extend the network beyond this area.