Truckee Donner utility awards contract for broadband study

Staff Report

TRUCKEE, Calif. — The Truckee Donner Public Utility District board of directors on Wednesday unanimously voted to award a contract to Uptown Services for the district’s community-wide broadband initial scoping study. 

The district in a news release said this is an exciting step in pursuing the board’s community broadband initiative, which came out of the TDPUD 2021-2024 strategic plan. Key deliverables from this study include: a market and demand survey, a review of district assets and operations, evaluations of potential business models to address community-wide broadband, identification of potential funding sources for future efforts and a recommendation of potential model(s)/project(s) to consider pursuing.

“The board created a significant public engagement process during the development of our strategic plan, and the community’s desire for us to pursue enabling community-wide broadband was clear,” said Board President Christa Finn. “We heard the community and have continued to work collaboratively to aggressively move this strategic initiative forward.”

The bid request for the study was the culmination of work by district staff and community members, said the release. 

This included an initial general manager task force to help inform the board initiative, a Community Broadband Committee to make recommendations to the board and a second general manager task force to help develop the RFP and participate in vendor selection. One key recommendation from the Community Broadband Committee was to “engage consultants in developing a strategic broadband plan for the entire Truckee community. Consultants must have PUD, rural community, funding and broadband business model experience.”    

“Enabling community-wide broadband is a critical and important opportunity for the board to consider pursuing,” said Serita Cox, district general manager task force member and founder/CEO of iFoster. “I have been directly involved in this initiative starting with the Community Broadband Committee, and am excited to see the results of Uptown Services’ analysis and report.”

The district said the Uptown Services proposal was strong both technically and for cost, while demonstrating past success with public utility districts, working in rural areas, evaluating potential business models and accessing funding. 

It is anticipated that Uptown Services will provide a final report and present recommendations to the board at the regularly scheduled Dec. 7, meeting. For more information, contact the district’s public information and strategic affairs director Steven Poncelet by email or phone 530-582-3951.

Correction: This article has been updated with the correct name of the utility district.

Support Local Journalism


Support Local Journalism

Readers around Lake Tahoe, Truckee, and beyond make the Sierra Sun's work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.