Placer County, California Approves $2.2 Million Rural Broadband Project

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Rural residents of Placer County (CA) often don't have reliable Internet. The county's Board of Supervisors voted on a project to try to change that. The board unanimously approved a grant for Wave Broadband of Roseville to build fiber-optic Internet infrastructure in parts of Auburn, North Auburn and Penryn, the first phase of a long, concerted effort to bring high-speed Internet to the county's rural communities. The project will cost more than $2.2 million and will bring service to 1,500 households in the areas of Edgehill Road in Auburn, Butler Road in Penryn and Christian Valley Road in North Auburn. Placer County will contribute $500,000 to the project, said Jarrett Thiessen, chief information officer for Placer County. Without the county's contribution, it's unlikely any Internet service provider would have wanted to build the infrastructure in these rural areas. The lots are too big, and they're not densely populated, making the venture very expensive without much opportunity for an immediate return on investment, Thiessen explained. The project is expected to be completed by October 2022. The county plans to award more grants to companies for building broadband infrastructure, Thiessen said. This first grant was focused on installing fiber-optic cable, which is the fastest broadband Internet connection currently available.

Placer County, Calif., Approves $2.2M Rural Broadband Project