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Northern California counties to receive $900,000 in grant funding to improve broadband connectivity

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) earlier this month awarded $900,000 in grant funding to two Northern California-based projects to improve broadband infrastructure over the next three years, according to an announcement. The goal is to install and upgrade fiber-based networks to connect 1.5 million residents living in the mostly rugged terrain across eleven counties, including Butte, Colusa, Glenn, Lake, Lassen, Modoc, Plumas, Shasta, Siskiyou, Sonoma and Tehama. The funding comes from the CPUC’s California Advanced Services Fund created in 2007 to promote universal broadband adoption across the state.

The announcement was made by the Corporation for Education Network Initiatives in California (CENIC), the Center for Economic Development at CSU Chico and two consortia overseeing the projects, the Northeastern California Connect Consortium (NECCC) and the Upstate California Connect Consortium (UCCC) which received $449,991 and $448,184, respectively.

The grants will be applied to disparities in the broadband infrastructure in each consortium’s region. By instituting new and improved fiber-based networks, these regions will have improved connectivity that will give all regional and local service providers access to greater bandwidth.

"This grant will enable us to develop a much needed comprehensive broadband plan for our county. Such a plan will enable us to pursue providers and funds to effectively implement broadband for our citizens and help us advance the county’s economic development plans,” said in a statement Kelly Cox, chief administrative officer for Lake County and a member of UCCC.