For Gonzales (CA), a Unique Path to High-Speed Internet

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For many Americans during the height of the COVID-19 crisis, gaining access to high-speed Internet hinged on the temporary charity of private service providers, or perhaps required a family to drive to a more connected area. But in Gonzales (CA), a city of about 9,000 people, getting broadband was as simple as going to a drive-thru, confirming one’s address, and heading to a second location to pick up equipment for a permanent at-home hot spot. Gonzales had just started to deploy this tech when COVID-19 put the United States into a centrifuge, but the city’s effort to give residents better broadband access started more than a decade ago. “Our goal has always been to get every household wired,” said City Manager René Mendez, who admitted the wireless option is not as robust in terms of performance. Mendez, however, sees a lesson here for other local areas: It’s ok to change a plan as long as there is a good reason. For Gonzales, part of the reason comes down to affordability. 

For Gonzales, Calif., a Unique Path to High-Speed Internet