The past year demonstrated the resilience of the Sierra, but also highlighted the unequal access to broadband, making remote education, telehealth, and business operations difficult—in some cases impossible. While broadband access has evolved into a basic need for everyone, it’s not accessible to many.
As a student at UC Berkeley who suddenly found myself learning through my laptop, I know first hand how essential broadband access has become to our daily lives. Unfortunately, many of my peers struggled to access stable internet—costing them time, money, and their education. Although this problem isn’t unique, it is highly disruptive to many people’s lives. In sparsely populated communities throughout the Sierra, internet service providers (ISPs) often find it too costly to bring their service to the “last mile.”
The number of homes without last-mile broadband access is under-counted, as well as homes that are being served with broadband speeds less than functional. Depending on what you are doing, your device might need access to higher speeds in order to operate smoothly. As learning and working from home is now the new normal, homes need internet speeds fast enough to support video streaming, conferencing, and downloading large files.
Here at Sierra Business Council, we work closely with counties in making broadband access equitable to all. Through our Gold Country Broadband Consortium program, we work with Nevada, Placer, El Dorado, Sierra, and East Alpine counties, but it is vital that we know which areas are underserved.
How you can help:
If you experience unreliable internet please go to our Gold Country Broadband Consortium webpage and take the CalSPEED test. The results of this test help document the gaps in the California Broadband Coverage Map. While this map might indicate that an area is being served, this speed test will determine if your connection does not meet the state minimum definition of acceptable speed.
Next, record your results in the google form here. This provides us with real-time information we need to jumpstart projects and match the “underserved” and “unserved” pockets of the Sierra to ISPs and funding opportunities.
If you’re having difficulty taking the test or you don’t have the ability to get internet service at your home, you can notify the CPUC directly by filling out the form available here and mailing it to the CPUC. Directions are available on the form.
If you have any questions, please contact Kari Sinoff at (530)562-4992 or email@example.com
Thank you for participating—We can’t do it without you.
In the spring of this year, California’s leaders took bold action in passing $536 million in an emergency action wildfire funding package, allowing wildfire resilience projects including fuel breaks, prescribed fire, watershed restoration, and ecological thinning to get underway ahead of the standard budget cycle. Amidst record-breaking heat waves, a historic drought, and the weight of unparalleled wildfire risk, it is imperative that California’s leaders continue and expand upon this bold action through the final 2021-22 Budget.
As part of our commitment to advancing climate action and energy resilience in the Sierra, Sierra Business Council provides greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions inventories to local jurisdictions in the region. We recently completed a GHG inventory update for the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA) that accounted for emissions in the Tahoe Basin.
we’d be poor advocates of the region if we failed to acknowledge the history and current role of the original stewards of the Sierra Nevada. From the Maidu to the Miwok, the Niesenan to the Shoshone, the Paiute to the Washoe, and all the other diverse cultures throughout the region, the Indigenous peoples of Sierra Nevada were the original caretakers of this landscape, and they are critical partners that should be respected and involved in this region’s future.
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