Sierra Business Council launches broadband expansion initiative | nnbusinessview.com

Sierra Business Council launches broadband expansion initiative

Sierra Sun

TRUCKEE, Calif. — The Gold Country Broadband Consortium, managed by Sierra Business Council, began a campaign effort earlier this month to bring high-speed internet to those still lacking basic connectivity in areas of Sierra City, Donner Summit, Olympic Valley and the Highway 89 corridor between Tahoe City and Truckee.

According to a news release, working directly with local internet service providers, the consortium will be surveying residents to identify areas of need and determine the feasibility of near-term infrastructure projects.

Maps of broadband availability in the Sierra are often based on outdated or incomplete data, the release states, usually reported by internet service providers rather than residents, and they lack the one crucial piece of information necessary for bringing infrastructure to an area: demand.

Programs like the Gold Country Broadband Consortium know who has high-speed internet and who doesn't, but the questions still remain, "who really wants it, and what are they willing to pay for faster speeds?"

Answering these questions will help pave the way to bringing high-speed internet to the residents of the region who have long been left out of the traditional discussions broadband providers have with their staff and investors.

The areas of Sierra City, Donner Summit and the Highway 89 corridor have been selected not just because these places have been calling for better service for years, but also because local internet service providers have expressed interest in these markets, the release states. If demand can be proven it will increase the feasibility to build.

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The consortium will be conducting speed tests, administering surveys, and working with community leaders to assess demand, but members of these communities are invited to reach out to Sierra Business Council directly with questions or concerns. The new online broadband survey is available at http://www.surveymonkey.com/r/GCBCsurvey.

Residents of areas outside Sierra City, Donner Summit, Olympic Valley, and the 89 corridor are still encouraged to test their broadband speed at http://www.SierraBusiness.org, as data collected there is helping the State of California identify pockets of need.

Contact the Sierra Business Council Office in Truckee at 530 582-4800, or email Peter Brown at pbrown@sierrabusiness.org, to learn more.