McKenzie Community Communications was officially incorporated on February 20th, 2021. The mission of MCC is to create a more reliable, resilient communications infrastructure for the McKenzie River Valley. MCC was formed in the aftermath of the Holiday Farm Fire by Ken Engelman, Steve Severin and Kevin Leinbach who all formed the original board of directors.
One of the most surprising realizations after the Holiday Farm Fire was how easily landline phones, aerial fiber and internet services were all completely wiped out. Although those systems have been rebuilt, they still have those same fatal flaws. We must prepare now for any future disasters. McKenzie Community Communications will work with other organizations to “build it back better”, utilizing the new microwave backhaul route pioneered by the Oregon Internet Response (OIR) team, improving it with feeds from both Eugene and Bend so the McKenzie River Valley is not single-source dependent.
One initial project will be the creation of a new GMRS repeater network to allow the local community to communicate more effectively when the next disaster strikes. MCC will also follow in the footsteps of OIR to install McKenzie Free WiFi hotspots.