Public utility’s broadband planwaiting in limbo
At this point, the Truckee Donner Public Utility District’s ambitious plan to bring high-speed Internet, cable TV and phone service to its customers is still just that – a plan.Members of the district’s board of directors are waiting as a subcommittee of the Nevada County Local Agency Formation Commission considers objections to the plan to build the fiber-to-the-user broadband system in Truckee. The endeavor has been on hold since Sept. 16, when LAFCo commissioners asked for more time to consider objections raised by SBC and Cebridge Connections, which recently entered the Truckee market.The two companies offer their own brands of high-speed Internet service as well as cable television – Cebridge – and telephone service – SBC – to Truckee customers. Both would compete for customers with the district if it gets the go-ahead with its broadband initiative.Since the Sept. 16 LAFCo meeting, members of the commission’s telecommunications subcommittee have been holding public meetings every Wednesday in Nevada City to gather more information on the district’s plan and the objections to it.According to SR Jones, a subcommittee member and LAFCo executive officer, the subcommittee hopes to be able to put together a series of recommendations at its Oct. 6 meeting to then take to the full LAFCo meeting on Oct. 14 in Nevada City.At that point, LAFCo commissioners would have three options: ask for still more time to reconsider the proposed $24 million fiber-to-the-user network; reaffirm their Aug. 11 approval of the district’s proposal, which gives the district the go-ahead to finance and build the system; or it could reverse the initial approval, essentially putting a stop to the district’s plan.Whats’ next?The next meeting of the LAFCo Telecommunications Subcommittee will be held on Oct. 6 at 1 p.m. in the Nevada City City Hall conference room at 317 Broad St., Nevada City.The full LAFCo public hearing on the Truckee Donner Public Utility District’s proposed broadband plan will be held Oct. 14 at 1 p.m. in the Board of Supervisors Chamber at the Nevada County Administrative Center at 950 Maidu Avenue, Nevada City. LAFCo commissioners hope to be able to set up a video conference link to Truckee for this meeting to allow interested parties from Truckee to comment without having to drive to Nevada City. For more information on LAFCo proceedings see http://www.lafco.co.nevada.ca.us/
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Caltrans is continuing intermittent Interstate 80 ramp closures between Kingvale and the Nevada state line for construction activities this week.