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Bringing Broadband to the Gold Country

A survey done a couple years ago found that 625,000 people in a 4 county area of the Sierra did not have Broadband internet available to them.  That’s about a third of the population in Placer, Nevada, Sierra, El Dorado and eastern Alpine Counties. SEDCorp, the Sierra Economic Development Corporation has been authorized by the California Public Utilities commission to facilitate what they are calling the Gold Country Broad Band Consortium. SEDCorp CEO Brent Smith says the goal is to bring high speed internet service networks to unserved areas.

“We’re banding together because we all have the common interest of extending Broadband infrastructure and then as it’s available, encouraging folks that have that service available to them to actually subscribe to it and use it and become a part of the digital age.”

The Consortium agreement is for three years and in that time Smith says they hope to identify the areas where people are willing to pay for the service and find internet providers to pay to bring it there. He says we are all contributing to that end.

“There’s a little tiny surcharge on every one of our phone bills that helps capitalize that advanced services fund which will then be used to help these internet service providers extend their networks in the most difficult, most expensive terrain so it can be made available cost effectively.”

High Speed Broadband is now identified as internet service at speeds of 6 mega bits per second or higher.  

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