Editor’s note: This letter was addressed to the Plumas County Board of Supervisors and submitted to Plumas News to be run as a letter to the editor, which was published yesterday. Plumas Sierra Telec0mmunications has responded to the letter and that response is printed below the Morrises’ letter.
While Nakoma Resort boasts of 1 Terabit internet speeds to Bay Area home buyers in the SF Chronicle, only a few yards away, the lower income community of Iron Horse is limited to 56K dial up as the fastest reliable wired connection available. This is approximately 20,000 times slower than just up the road at Nakoma.
This is the kind of “digital divide” that we must seek to close with the $3.6 million in COVID grant funds now available to the county. The people of Plumas County have spoken- fast, reliable internet is the top priority here in order to obtain access to healthcare, employment and education (which many of us have been missing out on for the past two years during COVID).
Plumas Sierra Telecommunications is planning a fiber extension along A15 (through the community of Iron Horse) to boost internet speeds at Nakoma/ Gold Mountain.
We ask that lower income communities such as Iron Horse (without adequate high speed internet, and in the area of forthcoming internet improvements) be prioritized for this grant funding and receive FTTH (fiber to the home) connections.
Obviously the optics of running a high speed fiber line through a lower income community in order to serve a higher income community are not great.
Please direct available grant funding to projects that seek to close the digital divide, particularly entire communities that are underserved and which are immediately adjacent to existing fiber extension projects.
Tony & Tracy Morris
Retired to Plumas County
PST is not expanding its fiber-optic network to Nakoma. We have a microwave connection to Nakoma, paid for by Nakoma. There is no Terabit connection there. If we receive a grant for going down A-15 or Nakoma pays to pull the fiber-optic down A-15, we would provide service to the homes along the way, and work to get down Iron Horse. This is our standard business practice.
We bought the defunct coax system of New Day Broadband in Portola to bring faster internet to Portola. We turned it into a functioning system and we have been converting portions of the coax system to fiber-optic, which has the added benefit of speeding up the remaining coax system in town. We are now completing work in parts of Portola, paid for by a grant from the California PUC. As we can, we are upgrading the rest of the coax to fiber-optic in Portola and are planning to increase speeds/lower costs for the remaining coax customers in the near future.
All our grant applications are based on where the state of CA says funds are available. We would love to provide fiber-optic to Iron Horse when grant money becomes available.
Chief Operating Officer
Plumas Sierra Telecommunications