The future path of Humboldt’s freshest data pipe. Source: CPUC application.



From the Office of Assemblymember Jim Wood:

Today, Assemblymember Jim Wood (D-Healdsburg) announced that the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) recently approved the “Digital 299” broadband infrastructure project along California State Route 299. This project, by Inyo Networks, Inc. (Inyo), will receive almost $47 million in funding from the California Advanced Services Fund (CASF), which is a fund that promotes deployment of high-quality advanced communications services to Californians.

Assm. Jim Wood.

“Rural California is not a priority for many companies that build technology infrastructure. We often hear them say that ‘the numbers just don’t pencil out’ because the population is so small,” said Wood. “That’s what makes the CASF grant program so essential to bridging the digital divide.”

CASF was created in 2007 to provide grants to “telephone corporations” to bridge the digital divide in unserved and underserved areas in the state. The fund supports projects that will provide broadband services to areas currently without broadband access and build out facilities in underserved areas.

The Digital 299 project, likely to be completed in 3 years, will provide high-capacity infrastructure and interconnection points to communities along the Highway 299 corridor and will directly connect 307 underserved households to Internet services capable of 1 Gbps using underground and aerial fiber facilities, with as many as 102 schools, colleges, research institutions, hospitals, clinics, public safety, tribal lands, and other institutions also able to take advantage of such connections.

[Ed. note: For more on those 307 households, see “That Superfast Undersea Internet? You’re Probably Not Getting It, Unless You are One of 307 People Who Live in Lewiston.”]

“Digital 299 is a powerful infrastructure that brings tremendous benefit to Trinity County and the Redwood Coast,” said Michael Ort, Inyo’s CEO. “We acknowledge the public trust and look forward to working with the community and its leaders to ensure its future in the digital economy.”

“Although the build out will take some time,” said Wood, “we are thankful that the needs of rural California are recognized and one step closer to bringing almost 2,400 square miles of rural Northern California between Redding and the California coast, running through Shasta, Trinity and Humboldt counties, into the 21st Century.”