Nevada County: Broadband Internet grant could provide more service | SierraSun.com

Nevada County: Broadband Internet grant could provide more service

Dave Moller
Sun News Service

NEVADA COUNTY and#8212; All Nevada County residents came a step closer Tuesday to broadband Internet service, but a huge funding hitch remains.

The Nevada County Broadband Leadership Council has landed a $1.3 million grant from the stateand#8217;s public utilities commission for high-speed service, member Gil Mathew said.

The hitch:

and#8220;Itand#8217;s contingent upon getting a federal grant for $11.2 million,and#8221; said Mathew, CEO of the countyand#8217;s Economic Resource Council, which oversees the broadband panel. and#8220;We think weand#8217;ll know by Dec. 15and#8221; whether the federal money is coming.

and#8220;If we land all of this, weand#8217;ll have a program for broadband countywide,and#8221; Mathew said.

People in the populations centers of Truckee, Grass Valley and Nevada City can get broadband, but many in the outlying areas still cannot because of the lack of infrastructure.

The $12.5 million in grants would be used to build towers and install equipment, Mathew said. Just the construction of the system would boost county economics, he added.

The new system would depend on a ring of towers and equipment that would take six months to one year to complete, according to Broadband Leadership Council member and county Chief Information Officer Steve Monaghan.

It would also allow a and#8220;redundant broadbandand#8221; wireless system which would give high-tech firms and others a backup should theirs go down, Mathew said.