Glenn County moves forward with boosting internet for rural areas

When it comes to high-speed internet, rural areas like farmland are not up to speed. Glenn County is one of those areas, but that could soon change.

Posted: Feb 13, 2020 8:57 AM
Updated: Feb 13, 2020 9:59 AM

GLENN COUNTY, Calif. - When it comes to high-speed internet rural areas like farmland are not up to speed.

Glenn County is one of those areas, but that could soon change. Glenn County; beautiful open acreage, cattle, and barns.

"We don't have a lot of access to high-speed internet and we want to change that," Glenn County Supervisor, Paul Barr said. 

Barr said the county is moving forward with installing high-speed cables underneath the public right of ways.

Those cables would boost broadband internet service in rural areas.

"I really appreciate it, because there are so many people, it's how we connect with the world now," said Joanne Phillips, a woman who thinks the internet is poor in the county.

Joanne Phillips is a Camp Fire survivor, she's lived in Glenn County for nearly a year now and says the internet is weak.

"Highway 32 is terrible because all of a sudden it'll just cut out," Phillips said.

Joanne Phillips says her husband works from home and it's crucial for him to have good service. 

"He needs to have internet service but when we travel or are in different parts of our house, we do have trouble on occasion," Phillips said.

"The internet service here is ok...I don't think that it's even slow," said Glenn County resident, Nina Mirabella.

Mirabella says there are other issues on hand.

"I think internet service should be the least of our problems right now," Mirabella said.

Because the internet is sluggish in certain rural areas, patients who have to access medical records or make appointments through a portal are not always able to do so. That's why some hospitals are saying no to Glenn County.

"Without good reliable affordable internet, it makes it difficult to compete," Barr said.

Barr says the state has $300 million in grants available to boost the internet, and the county wants to apply for those grants.

"We need to put that money where it's needed," Mirabella said.

That $300 million came from a bill called the "Telecommunications: California Advanced Services Fund" also known as AB 1665, it was signed into law more than two years ago.

It sets aside money from the California Public Utilities Commission.

They'll start work on the project this Spring, supervisors say it would not impact the county's general fund.

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