By editorial board • 

Dayton emerges as first 10-gig city on West Coast

Last month, Dayton celebrated something remarkable enough for the rest of the nation to take notice. The home of the Old Timers Festival is now the first city on the American West Coast to enjoy 10 gigabyte internet service.

The rollout of this service is a great boost for Dayton education and commerce. And it should cause other rural communities to ask themselves, “What are the possibilities for us?”

The local internet service provider OnlineNW installed the system, using cutting edge technology developed by ADTRAN. That prompted ADTRAN Vice President Mitch Fleming to say, “Dayton is proof that geographic location is no longer a barrier to what a community can accomplish with passion, creative thinking and Gigabit broadband.”

The 10-gig service grew out of Innovate Dayton, which is redefining education in Pirate Nation. Connected with the statewide Innovate Oregon, the initiative is encouraging students, teachers and administrators to re-imagine future development inside the classroom and around the community.

In April, more than 400 people attended the inaugural Pirate Nation Event, where the community was invited to learn about a forthcoming i3 Center designed to celebrate inspiration, innovation and invention, welcome a new community partnership with OnlineNW and to witness what students have begun to accomplish under the Innovate Dayton banner. 

According to the program website: “These students described how the new hands-on, application-based teaching style had both inspired them and reignited their love for learning.”

As discussed in a News-Register article on the Innovate Dayton launch, the 10-gig service originally was designed to serve just the school system. But OnlineNW and the school district developed a unique revenue-sharing program under which the service will be expanded to serve the community’s commercial and residential sectors, generating funds that can be reinvested into further school innovation.

The model is a crafty way to implement the futuristic internet service in a financially feasible manner. If it proves successful, communities around the country will no doubt take note.

This public-private partnership continues a vocational revolution sweeping Yamhill County high schools in recent years. Elements include McMinnville’s EASA program, Yamhill-Carlton’s manufacturing and vineyard management classes and welding stations outfitted by Cascade Steel at McMinnville and Amity high schools.

We expect announcements of more such partnerships in the future, assisted by the unveiling of new vo-ag facilities in Willamina and funding of enhanced vocational facilities in McMinnville.

Innovate Dayton has raised the bar on what can be accomplished in rural America. Next generation technology need no longer be limited to the Silicon Valleys and Silicon Forests of the world.

We’re excited to see the transformation the program is fueling. We’re hoping it inspires other small communities to achieve what was formally thought impossible. 

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