Dark Fiber2024-06-13T11:07:11-07:00

Dark Fiber

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


The following areas are proceeding with construction activities for the Ariel to Cougar Fiber to the Home. If your property is along these following service areas, you may notice locates, equipment, and contractors.

  • Fiber Service Area 5 (Cougar) waiting for feeder fiber
  • Fiber Service Area 4 (Yale) Drop lines and aerial crews start 6/10. Underground after 6/10.
  • Fiber Service Area 3 Rock boring needs to be completed for Bald Eagle Road, Central Valley Road, Elk Lane and will be complete after second week.
  • Fiber Service Area 2 N. Dubois Road drilling underway, vaults being set.
  • Fiber Service Area 1 (Ariel) Locates are being called- work beginning possibly tail end of schedule. Awaiting approvals from PacifiCorp to start.


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.


Did You Receive a Letter?

If you received a letter from the Port, your property has been identified as in the future phase 2 service area. Please contact the Port with your name, address and best contact (phone and email) so we can provide the information to our consultant for the design portion of the Phase 2 project. Currently, there is approximately a 52-week wait for available fiber optic material once ordered. All of the connections to the sites within the service area will need to be designed, engineered and measured to order the material. We anticipate given the fiber optic scheduling backlog issues, that connections will not occur until sometime in 2023 unless production of materials increases substantially nationwide.

If you believe you are in the service area but did not receive a letter from the Port, please contact us with your information and we will contact you if you are within the project area.

PHASE 1 – Backbone

In Port Commission authorized the request to apply for state CERB funding in 2020 for the Phase 1 Ariel to Cougar backbone 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. Phase 1 is directly along SR 503/ Lewis River Road. Limited connections will be made in 2022 to those along the route and have already been contacted about connection design and engineering.

PHASE 2 – Fiber to Home

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. Currently, the Fiber to Home project is delayed due to the uncertain federal requirements that would be required to meet per the funding source. Once the Port receives the guidance of the federal funding requirements, the Port will be able to determine a proper path forward.

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.


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:

BACKBONE (SR 503/Lewis River Road) TASK TIME
1 Assist with right-of-way acquisition, as required 2/1/2021-6/1/2021 COMPLETED
2 Aerial/underground design for construction 2/1/2021-6/1/2021 COMPLETED
3 Prepare applications for permitting with Cowlitz PUD, Cowlitz County and WSDOT 2/1/2021-11/1/2021 COMPLETED
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 COMPLETED
6 Construction Period 6/1/2022-4/30/2023 UNDERWAY
1 Assist with right-of-way acquisition, as required UNKNOWN UNDERWAY
2 Aerial/underground design for construction UNKNOWN UNDERWAY
3 Prepare applications for permitting with Cowlitz PUD and Cowlitz County UNKNOWN UNDERWAY
4 Electronic survey of poles UNKNOWN UNDERWAY
5 Bid Document development, advertising and award UNKNOWN UNDERWAY
6 Construction Period UNKNOWN UNKNOWN
1 Grant submission UNKNOWN UNDERWAY
2 Assist with right-of-way acquisition, as required UNKNOWN UNKNOWN
3 Aerial/underground design for construction UNKNOWN UNKNOWN
4 Prepare applications for permitting with Cowlitz PUD and Cowlitz County UNKNOWN UNKNOWN
5 Electronic survey of poles UNKNOWN UNKNOWN
6 Bid Document development, advertising and award UNKNOWN UNKNOWN
7 Construction Period UNKNOWN UNKNOWN


Below is a current list of providers leasing from the Port. Additional providers will be listed upon approval by the Port Commission.

Reach Fiber Network https://www.rfninternet.com/
Spear Broadband, LLC https://www.spearbroadband.com


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
Go to Top