Supervisors award $500,000 in last-mile broadband grants

“With the Board of Supervisors’ award today of $500,000 to four local internet service providers (ISP), broadband service will be offered to 440 households to support distance learning, remote working, and tele-medicine. Each of the four projects offers a unique and innovative approach to expanding broadband in areas challenged by both remote geography and low population density. 

“The County’s Broadband Work Group worked with the Sierra Business Council to solicit applications from internet service providers and presented the award recommendations for the Board’s consideration. The funded ISPs include Northern Sierra Broadband, in the amount of $120,000; Nevada County Fiber, Inc., in the amount of $113,000; Exwire, Inc., dba Oasis Broadband, in the amount $62,000; and Spiral Fiber, Inc., in the amount of $205,000. 

“’Connecting our community to the internet is job number one. What I like about these innovative projects is that they are local, affordable, and take a community serving approach. This is what the ‘Last-Mile’ grants are about – serving areas that would be unlikely to receive broadband service without grant funding,’ said Board Chair Dan Miller. 

“’Last-mile’ refers to the final leg connecting the broadband service provider’s network to the end-use customer’s home. The “Last-Mile” grant program, which the Board established in 2019, is funded with Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) dollars intended to promote economic development.”

—By Caleb Dardick for the County of Nevada County

Author: jeffpelline

Jeff Pelline is a veteran editor and award-winning journalist - in print and online. He is publisher of Sierra FoodWineArt magazine and its website SierraCulture.com. Jeff covered business and technology for The San Francisco Chronicle for 12 years, and he was a founding editor and Editor of CNET News for eight years, among other positions. Jeff has a bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley and a master's from Northwestern University. His hobbies include sailing, swimming, and trout fishing in the Sierra.

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