CSU, Chico News

Broadband Planning Applications Approved for Regional Consortia in 11 Northern Counties

Date: 12-16-2011

Joe Wills
Public Affairs
Cathy Emerson
Center for Economic Development

The Center for Economic Development (CED/CSU, Chico) and the Corporation for Education Network Initiatives in California (CENIC) have been approved for just under $900,000 in broadband planning funds over a three-year period for two regional consortia covering 11 of California’s northern counties. A grant of $449,991 was approved for Butte, Lassen, Modoc, Plumas, Shasta, Siskiyou and Tehama counties in the Northeastern California Connect Consortium; and a grant of $448,184 was approved for Colusa, Glenn, Lake and Sonoma counties in the Upstate California Connect Consortium.

This funding will be used to identify gaps in the existing broadband infrastructure in each consortium’s region. Closing the gaps in infrastructure with new and/or improved fiber-based networks will create reliable, redundant loops to better enable all regional and local service providers access to greater bandwidth. In turn, it will make available more robust last-mile service offerings to customers.

Beginning in January 2012, CED/CSU, Chico, under the auspices of CENIC, will assemble the consortia to solicit nominations and then vote for consortium officers; assemble working groups in each region that will prepare and submit designs for new and improved infrastructure deployment funds; and measure progress against the approved action/work plans.

Participation by community members with knowledge of local issues and broadband needs—business owners, nonprofit and nongovernmental organizations, city and county officials—is necessary to close the “digital divide” between high-speed Internet service availability and accessibility.

Consortium membership is free, and additional members are encouraged to join. Click here to download a membership form http://www.cedcal.com/upstate-connect/ or http://www.cedcal.com/northeastern-connect/. For more information, contact Cathy Emerson, cmemerson@csuchico.edu; 530-898-3862.