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Electric Co-op seeks $12 million for projects

In an effort to bring high speed internet to more communities in its jurisdiction, Plumas-Sierra Telecommunications submitted five project proposals totaling $12 million for broadband infrastructure subsidies from the California Advanced Services Fund (CASF).

Four of the projects are slated for Plumas County, while the fifth is in Lassen. Three of the Plumas projects are designed for pure fiber installations (though some wireless links may be needed), while the fourth (for the Lake Davis area) is a hybrid — some homes would be served by fiber, while others would rely on fixed wireless links.

Each of the proposed projects includes middle mile fiber facilities, to connect to the internet through Plumas Sierra’s core network.

These applications, and those from other entities, are the first under the new CASF broadband infrastructure grant rules  approved last year by the California Public Utilities Commission.

Bob Marshall, the general manager of parent company Plumas Sierra Rural Electric Coop, said that he anticipates knowing by Nov. 11 whether the projects will be funded. But he is optimistic, because he is aware of $27 million in grant requests from a fund that has $300 million earmarked for such projects.

If successful in being selected, Plumas Sierra would have a year to complete the projects barring unforeseen weather or right-of-way issues.

That work would be completed in 2020, while Marshall said the focus for this year remains Quincy and American Valley.

He said that construction is underway in Bellamy Tract (the housing area near Plumas District Hospital) and that scouting has begun for other areas, which includes Chandler Road and Carol Lane East.

“We will be working on segments all over American Valley,” Marshall said. Priority will be given to areas that have requested service, so Marshall encourages individuals and neighborhoods that are interested to contact Plumas Sierra Telecommunications.

The company prioritizes the areas based on those who say “I need it now,” he shared.

Plumas Sierra is trying to provide a direct line with fiber wherever possible in its installations, but some areas will need wireless.

Proposed projects

Lake Davis

$1,118,873 in grant funds

Serve 185 addresses

Current unserved population: 36

0.93 square miles

2 businesses

Median household income: $62,321

C Road-Mohawk Vista

$3,014,777 in grant funds

Serve 287 addresses

Current unserved population: 353

4.4 square miles

12 businesses

Median household income: $42,344

Plumas Eureka-Johnsville

$1,601,408 in grant funds

Serve 83 addresses

Current unserved population: 48

2.2 square miles

6 businesses

Median household income: $68,302

Keddie project

$1,583,660

Serve 33 addresses

Current unserved population: 100

1.6 square miles

3 businesses

Median household income: $49,485

Elysian Valley-Johnstonville

$4,509,025 in grant funds

Serves 118 addresses

Current unserved population: 222

1.5 square miles

11 businesses

Median household income: $80,250

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