Tillamook County Approves Facebook Jupiter Cable in Tierra Del Mar

The Tillamook County Board of Commissioners voted Jan. 9, 2-1 to uphold the decision to approve the installation of the Jupiter Cable System.By Hilary Dorsey, The News Guard
January 10, 2020

The Tillamook County Board of Commissioners voted Thursday, Jan. 9, 2-1 to uphold the Tillamook County Planning Commission’s similar use determination and decision to approve the installation of the Jupiter Cable System. This was the second hearing the board held to discuss an appeal requested by numerous citizens of Tierra Del Mar.

Background Information

A three-hour meeting to discuss the cable system, held at the Kiawanda Community Center on Aug. 11, was attended by State Sen. Arnie Roblan, D-Coos Bay, and State Rep. David Gomberg, D- Otis as well as six representatives of Facebook and its subsidiary Edge Cable Holdings.

The proposed SubCom Jupiter cable would connect to a high-capacity transpacific system with international reach, reportedly owned by Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft and others. Facebook representatives said the proposed project in Tierra Del Mar would support services used around the globe, including Indonesia, India, Japan, Hong Kong and other surrounding areas.

It’s the social media company’s position that despite its residential development classification, lot 3200 is more desirable than others that were scouted and found lacking due to clearance, erosion or wetlands concerns. Facebook bought the property in October of this past year.

Four existing submarine cables in Pacific City came up during the discussion. Facebook representatives said that landing is fully occupied and cannot fit a fifth cable because of congestion and fewer options for cable burial, making it a high-risk proposition.

“The big part of the reason to come to Pacific City is that there are highly available and high-quality fiber optic routes that connect on the land side from this area that go back to Hillsboro, Portland, and once you hit Portland, you can go south to Seattle,” said Jon Hudson, network investment manager of Facebook/Edge Cable. “You can go east to Boise and Salt Lake City. You can go south to Eugene to San Francisco, Los Angeles. You can get up to a larger internet ecosystem.”

Facebook worked with the Oregon Fishermen’s Cable Committee (OFCC) on finding the right location. At lot 3200, they found less risk of having nets get stuck on cables. Telecommunications also have less risk of interruption. It was noted that fish habitats are restricted from cables installation as federally protected areas.

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