Dark Fiber2021-09-13T15:09:22-07:00

Dark Fiber

The Port of Woodland is investing in dark fiber infrastructure within the Port district to enhance economic development opportunities.


In 2013, a study led by the Cowlitz-Wahkiakum Council of Governments and completed by ICF International, investigated the needs of State Routes 503 and 504 in Cowlitz County. It was concluded that for future economic development opportunities to exist, it was critical that improvements to broadband services needed to be expanded. In 2016, the Port of Woodland conducted two study areas for expansion of dark fiber infrastructure: the Woodland Bottoms and from the city limits of Woodland through to Cougar.


In Port Commission authorized the request to apply for state CERB funding in 2020 for the Ariel to Cougar route. Funding was awarded in summer of 2020. The project includes design of pole attachments and underground construction along the route, locating vaults and connections to vital infrastructure and buildings, and construction services.

In 2021, the Port Commission authorized the request for CERB/federal funding for Ariel to Cougar Phase 2 Fiber to “Home”. This project was awarded funding in July with a $1.9 million grant with $400,000 match funds from the Port. https://www.commerce.wa.gov/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/CERB-July-2021-Newsletter.pdf Phase 2 routes were developed with the assistance from Cowlitz-Skamania Fire maps. The following maps identify the addresses in the phase 2. If your address is not within the map area, please email the Port with information for review. The Phase 2 project will take fiber up roads and drives to the parcel line. We will not enter individual parcels to connect your home. The project will allow for the closest “last mile” connection for businesses and residents to contract with Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to connect the utility to your home or business. this will significantly reduce the cost to the end user.

Ariel to Cougar Phase 2 Fiber to “Home” Map

The Port of Woodland contracted with Petrichor LLC to provide design and project management services for the project. Below is the Phase 1 Backbone schedule of tasks and timelines associated to the Ariel to Cougar project:

1 Assist with right-of-way acquisition, as required 2/1/2021-6/1/2021 UNDERWAY
2 Aerial/underground design for construction 2/1/2021-6/1/2021 COMPLETE
3 Prepare applications for permitting with Cowlitz PUD, Cowlitz County and WSDOT 2/1/2021-11/1/2021 UNDERWAY
4 Electronic survey of poles 2/1/2021-4/1/2021 COMPLETED
5 Bid Document development, advertising and award 12/1/2021-4/1/2022
6 Construction Period 4/1/2022-8/1/2022


Currently, there are no leases in place for providing end user services because the project is still in design and permitting phase. It is anticipated, once this task is complete, the marketing of the dark fiber infrastructure will begin. Information on service providers along the route will be provided as leases are approved by the Port Commission.


Is the Port providing internet services?2021-05-10T11:26:53-07:00

No, the Port will lease the dark fiber to companies to “light” the fiber providing the end user service. We do this to provide open market for competition that lowers the costs to the end user.

When will I have service?2021-05-10T11:26:46-07:00

We anticipate that the construction will be completed (per the schedule) this late fall. Once the infrastructure is in place and companies enter into leasing agreements with the Port for use of fiber, service can begin. We will provide information on this page of providers along the route as those are finalized.

How much will internet service cost?2021-05-10T11:26:41-07:00

Minimum connection speeds of 100 Mbs with bursts to 1000 Mbs for all customers will be required by any private company leasing dark fiber. Pricing will be advertised as service becomes available.

I don’t live along the Ariel to Cougar route. Are you looking at other areas for bringing in fiber?2021-05-10T11:26:29-07:00

Yes, the Port Commission has the Woodland Bottoms route and is looking at other areas within the Port District and connected to the Port District to improve or provide service. It is highly encouraged to contact the Port with your location and provide information on issues at your business or residence (no service provided, low speed or inconsistent service).

For More Information

Contact Jennifer Wray-Keene
Executive Director
(360) 225-6555
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