At the end of April, the Board of Supervisors awarded $500,000 in Last-Mile Broadband Grants to four local internet service providers (ISPs). “Last-mile” refers to the final leg connecting the high-speed internet (or, "broadband") service provider’s network to the end-use customer’s home. As a result of those grants, broadband service will be offered to 440 households to support distance learning, remote working, and tele-medicine. Each of the four projects – two of which are in District 1 – offers a unique and innovative approach to expanding broadband in areas challenged by both remote geography and low population density.
The two projects in District 1 include: 1) Nevada County Fiber’s project – which the County awarded $113,000 – will bring fiber service to 22 Nevada City homes in the community of Oak Ridge and Bear Claw Court neighborhood. This project is an extension of the 16-home, Banner Mountain project, funded through the 2019/2020 Last-Mile Grant. And 2) Spiral Fiber’s project – which was awarded $205,000 – will bring fiber service to over 380 homes north of the Nevada City limits in the Lake Vera Purdon Road and North Bloomfield Road neighborhoods. These will be 100% fiber-optic and built as an open-access-ready network.
Additionally, I represent the interests of rural counties on the California State Association of Counties (CSAC) Broadband Subcommittee, which is monitoring and influencing legislation on broadband expansion throughout the state.
And finally, there is even more state and federal money headed to counties to help expand broadband access, so we’re examining the eligible uses of that money so we can help you get service as quickly as possible. Stay tuned.