Grant Funded Projects

Our community is very fortunate to have three local/regional broadband projects receive Federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) or State grant funding.

1) The first project is a last-mile one with a local Wireless Internet Service Provider (WISP), SmarterBroadband, from the Department of Agriculture's Rural Utility Service Broadband Initiative Program. They have been awarded $2.5 million in stimulus funds (75% grant / 25% loan) to expand their wireless infrastructure across 425 square miles in Western Nevada County. Their project period was completed in Fall of 2015.

2) The second project funded is the Central Valley Next Generation Broadband Infrastructure Project (CVNGBIP). This $60 million project was funded by the Department of Commerce's Broadband Technology Opportunities program and is built a middle-mile fiber optic network across 18 California counties and initially connecting our two local high schools and main library with 10 and 1 Gigabyte Internet broadband connections. The open access network can now be leveraged and used by local broadband providers as a source for wholesale affordable Internet bandwidth that they can then resell and provide via their last-mile services to local residents and businesses. The portion of the project that is coming through Western Nevada County went live to the three anchor institutions (High Schools and Library) in late 2015.

3) The third project: on 2014-10-30 local ISP Spiral Internet (Bright Fiber Network) launched their fiber to the premise project by holding a Gigabit Conference in Nevada City. Spiral's project will provide symmetrical 1Gbs fiber delivered Internet service to homes and businesses. The first of three planned phases received California Advanced Services Fund grant approval of $16.7 million in 12-2015. This first phase will service 25 square miles in the Rattlesnake - Chicago Park area of the county and will cross from Nevada City through Grass Valley, servicing the main business parks along the way.

On January 10, 2019, the California Public Utilities Commission (Commission) voted to approve the purchase of Bright Fiber Network, Inc. (Bright Fiber) by Race Telecommunications, Inc. (Race), giving the green light to a $26.8 million dollar fiber-to-the-home build, servicing 1,941 households in western Nevada County. The project was approved with a unanimous 4-0 vote.  The project must be completed in two years from this date.