‘Connected Tahoe’ grant focuses on broadband services | SierraSun.com

‘Connected Tahoe’ grant focuses on broadband services

Special to the Sun

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has awarded a California Advanced Services Fund (CASF) grant to The Tahoe Prosperity Center (TPC) through the Gold Country Broadband Consortium.

The $167,000 CASF grant is for a two-year project focused on promoting broadband services expansion in unserved and underserved areas of the Lake Tahoe Basin.

The vision of the grant is a "Connected Tahoe." Specifically, the grant is referred to as the Tahoe Basin Project and involves the following key activities:

Collection and mapping of current broadband infrastructure.

A community-wide broadband needs assessment and speed test.

An analysis of the data above to determine the unserved and underserved areas within the Basin.

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Assistance to interested Internet Service Providers (ISP) in writing a minimum of three infrastructure grants to the CPUC for broadband expansion in the identified unserved and underserved communities.

Activities one through three will be conducted in California and Nevada Tahoe Basin regions. The resulting infrastructure grants will be restricted to California.

However, the TPC will investigate additional sources of funding for broadband expansion Basin-wide. A regional consortium of partners from the education, health, community welfare, first responders, telecommunications, local government and business communities has been created to lend expertise and knowledge.

The Tahoe Prosperity Center has also hired Bev Ducey to manage the project. Ducey has more than 20 years experience in project management, marketing and communications — 12 of those years as vice president at Charles Schwab & Co.

Starting in August, the TPC will ask the community to participate in both home and work speed Internet connection tests and a survey about current Internet providers.

The speed test data will help assess current gaps in connectivity, determine priority areas for future broadband expansion and provide real-time statistics on a "Connected or not-connected Tahoe basin."

Information and details will be available by Aug. 1 at http://www.tahoeprosperity.org.