Placer County Provides Reliable Internet Access to Rural Residents With $ 2.2 Million Project
The Placer County Supervisory Board on Tuesday approved a project that will provide reliable internet connection to rural residents.
Parts of Auburn, North Auburn and Penryn may be granted fiber optic internet access following the unanimous board vote for a grant for Wave Broadband. This decision is part of the goal of equipping rural communities with high-speed Internet connections.
“We are extending fiber optic to the home, which is a very exciting thing for rural communities because you don’t see this very often,” Telecommunications director Dieter Wittenberg said at Tuesday’s meeting.
Some 1,500 households in the areas of Edgehill Road in Auburn, Christian Valley Road in North Auburn and Butler Road in Penryn will benefit from the $ 2.2 million project.
Placer County CIO Jarrett Thiessen said the county would pay the company $ 500,000.
“A network built in these service areas is prohibitive without the county’s financial contribution due to the rural nature and rocky terrain,” Thiessen said in a presentation.
Any Internet service provider would be reluctant to bring the infrastructure to rural communities without the county’s contribution. He said the project would be too expensive in these too large and sparsely populated areas.
By October of next year, the project is expected to be completed.
“Placer County’s broadband efforts are far from over,” said Jane Christenson, deputy county general manager.
To finance the project, Placer also allocated part of its CARES Act budget.
“This is really the start,” Christenson said.
Thiessen said Placer intends to provide additional grants to companies for setting up broadband infrastructure. The installation of a fiber-optic cable, which is currently the fastest broadband Internet connection, is the subject of the first grant, reported The Sacramento Bee.
Most rural residents of Auburn, Truckee and Lake Tahoe see internet connectivity as one of the current issues they face.