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Broadband Access Challenges Remain

An update on the challenges to improving and expanding broadband service in mostly rural areas of Nevada County was the topic of a roundtable discussion at the County Tech Hub on Thursday. Chelsea Walterscheid is the program coordinator of the Sierra Business Council, which also serves Placer, El Dorado, Sierra, and Alpine counties. She says the current focus is on developing a map that more specifically identifies unserved areas and speed discrepancies…

click to listen to Chelsea Walterscheid

Walterscheid says they’re also asking people to take internet speed tests at different times of the day to show variations of speed, as a way to help pinpoint trouble spots more. The Vice-President of Business Innovation, Kristin York, says they’re also working with smaller internet providers, besides AT and T and Comcast, to find funding sources, including from a new law that allocates millions of state dollars…

click to listen to Kristin York

More and better connections would also help improve the local economy, through attracting more businesses to the area, especially high-tech businesses. Meanwhile, Spiral Internet CEO John Paul told the group that two investors have come forward with offers of matching grant funds, that are under consideration, in hopes of culminating a nearly decade-long effort to greatly expand high-speed internet access.

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