Everything that you think is in the cloud is really under the ocean. Satellites are important but they are not nearly as reliable nor as plentiful as submarine cables.

There are 476 global submarine cables and counting. In 2016, Kate Brown sent a letter to Delegates of the Pacific Ocean Undersea Cable Projects, at the Pacific Telecommunications Conference, welcoming them and their business to the state of Oregon. Oregon is known and is specified on several documents I have as the place to do Pacific US submarine cable landings as the permit process and regulations are far more expedient and lax than either California or Washington. In essence, she promises a slam dunk for getting approvals.

Fast forward to 2017-2018. At this point there are 8 cable landings on the coast of Oregon. All of them are under public land. At first these cables were built and owned by conglomerates all over the world, but as the internet, and particularly the alphabet companies gained power, they decided to get in the business. So now Facebook, Microsoft, Amazon, and the Japanese Softbank, are in negotiations all over the world to build their own submarine fiber optic cable networks. The proposed cable next to us would be owned by Facebook and will hook up .5 miles out to sea to the Jupiter Cable which is owned by Facebook, Amazon, and Softbank. And Oregon is saying, “Come on in.”

These are not your neighborhood cable hook ups. The transfer of information, banking and financial data, and security data will be at locations that have very little or no security. The beach manhole that they intend to install on the site next to our beach house will be unattended. Our unincorporated community has no security infrastructure. No police, no fire hydrants, nada. We don’t get cell phone service here.

Obviously, these cables need to land on the ocean shore. And this is where our fight is. All of the other beach landings in the state of Oregon are under public property. The drilling, the placement, the inconvenience - ALL under publicly maintained roads, parking lots, streets. They have access to public services - police, etc. should there be a problem of any kind. Tierra Del Mar is 3 miles away from Pacific City (PC by the way already has a sub cable landing with 5 cables and room for more).

So our argument is that an ocean front residentially zoned home site should not be used for a commercial venture. You wouldn’t buy an ocean front cottage between to commercially zoned lots would you? Zoning is what keeps your property safe from a conflicting use of adjacent property.

To allow this Conditional Use Permit (they are billing themselves as a Public Utility which they are clearly not) - to allow this sets a precedent that will invite disaster. No longer will any private property be exempt from commercial ventures. Facebook and the others will be allowed to buy property along the coast wherever they think it will benefit them. If this project is allowed, there are other undeveloped ocean front home sites in Tierra Del Mar and you can bet your bottom dollar that they will be next.

Our aim is to get them regulated so that they can only be put on public land. This is a big deal. These companies are putting billions if not trillions of dollars into this, so our chances are small. As one friend said, “It’s not David v. Goliath, it’s David v. 10,000 Goliaths.” But we won’t give up without a fight. Our goal is to convince the Tillamook County Commissioners that this is a bad decision.

Please check out our website: Facebookfracking.watch

Patricia Rogers

Tierra Del Mar

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