Many La Grande households will soon have the opportunity to travel in the fastest lane on the information superhighway.

The reason — fiber optic internet is on the horizon for residential areas.

Eastern Oregon Net Inc. is preparing to begin installing fiber optic cable in two residential portions of La Grande. Fiber optic internet provides lightning-fast internet service, said Jeff Crews, the co-owner of EONI.

“It is the fastest thing. Nothing is faster,” Crews said.

He also said fiber optic internet is very reliable and has an excellent reputation.

“Most people who know what fiber is know they want it,” Crews said.

Crews said EONI will be installing fiber optic cable available to households from Alder Street to Fourth Street and from Palmer Avenue to Adams Avenue. Crews said the work should be finished by the end of the year. Everyone receiving EONI service in the areas and all others living in them will be able to get fiber optic internet service if they choose to.

“We will call (the residential areas receiving fiber optic internet) ‘Fiberhood I,’” Crews said.

Crews said EONI will ensure that all households in these “fiberhoods” are made aware of the service upgrade. Steps to be taken include hanging messages on doors.

Later EONI will be installing fiber optic cable in other residential areas in La Grande.

“Our goal is to provide fiber optic internet to as much of La Grande as possible,” Crews said.

Portions of La Grande’s business district already receive fiber optic internet. It was made available to businesses on Adams Avenue about five years ago, and businesses on
Washington and Jefferson avenues gained access about six months ago. In July, fiber optic internet became available to businesses on Cove Avenue from Cherry Street to Interstate 84.

Crews also said EONI will begin installing fiber optic cable in the City of Cove for many households and businesses in about four months. The work should be finished by March of 2020. Once complete, many Cove residents will have access to fiber optic internet.

One of the advantages of fiber optic internet is that signal strength is not impacted by how far it is from its source. Crews said this is not the case for internet received via TV cable or phone lines.