Broadband effort cancels Auburn meeting, two more on tap

By: Journal Staff
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The Gold Country Broadband Consortium has canceled a planned meeting on “Is Mobile Broadband the Solution?” after getting no takers from major telecommunications providers to attend and give their input.

Brent Smith, CEO of the Sierra Economic Development Corp., said two community meetings will go on in early February in El Dorado and Nevada counties but the Auburn meeting – a quarterly meeting for the consortium interested in providing better Internet service to the region – will not take place as originally scheduled on Thursday.

“We had hoped that the meeting’s would offer exactly the forum that would entice participation by the three major mobile wireless providers serving the consortium region,” Smith said.

Smith said that AT&T, Verizon and Sprint didn’t acknowledge several invitations, even after the request was backed by the California Public Utilities Commission.

Two community meetings will be held in February with Internet providers appearing to listen and speak on service.

The first will be held from 6-7 p.m. on Feb. 5 at the Greenwood Community Center, 4401 Highway 193, in El Dorado County.

The second meeting, also from 6-7 p.m., will be held Feb. 12 at Nevada City’s Woolman School, 13075 Woolman Lane.

The broadband consortium has been working with Auburn-based Sierra Economic Development Corporation in pockets of Placer to help speed up Internet service and provide more broadband options.

The group has seen breakthroughs in some areas, including bringing fiber optics and faster Internet to the Auburn airport area in North Auburn. Placer County, which is also a partner in the consortium, has worked with WAVE Broadband to bring a new fiber-optic network to about 1,200 customers in the Colfax area.