Truckee broadband initiative falters
The Truckee utility district’s effort to offer broadband Internet service to its customers has encountered unexpected obstacles in attracting an Internet provider.
Although the Truckee Donner Public Utility District board of directors has reviewed concepts by several high-tech service providers, the district has yet to identify a partner able to move forward with the project.
“The effort has been hampered predominantly by the instability in the telecommunications markets,” said General Services Manager Alan Harry in a staff report.
The district’s directors will review the status of the broadband project at their regular meeting that begins at 6 p.m. Wednesday.
In August, representatives from 180 Connect and North Sky Communications presented broadband system design concepts to the utility board. While the district has received a draft contract for services from 180 Connect, they have yet to see the firm’s proposed financial documents, according to the staff report that Harry wrote.
Furthermore, 180 Connect’s planned financing partner, Victor Capital, is no longer an investment partner. The loss of the financial partner has proved a setback in that a new financial structure will have to be identified and approved, Harry said in the report.
On Wednesday, the board will discuss the project’s status and review the situation with potential service providers.
“Whether this is viewed as a setback or not will be in the eyes of the board,” said district interim General Manager John Ulrich by phone Monday. “It’s better to find out now rather than invest money and find out later.”
Ulrich said the district will continue to explore other service options, or possibly expand on concepts presented by current Internet providers.
Also on Wednesday’s agenda is a request to consider the proposed 2008 Pipeline Replacement Project, which would maintain existing pipelines and include the construction of more than three miles of new pipelines to improve the district’s water distribution.
Additionally, the board will address a voluntary green renewable energy credits program to help district customers reduce their individual environmental impact.
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