Fiber-optic link to Colfax signals faster internet, telephone and TV services

By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
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AUBURN CALIF - Colfax residents and businesses are targeted for new high-speed data services early next year, with installation of a new fiber-optic network by Wave Broadband. The initial phase will serve about 1,200 customers, said Tom Carroll, vice president of operations with Wave Broadband. The project is now in the permit approval process with Placer County and installation of the fiber-optic network will start early in the new year. Carroll said Wednesday that both city of Colfax and Placer County officials have provided encouragement on the million-dollar project but Wave Broadband is the sole funding source. “We’re convinced folks will really like what we have to offer,” Carroll said. “This is a big deal for a mid-sized cable operator to offer this.” The Colfax upgrade of the old system has been something Wave Broadband has been eyeing since its acquisition of the Starstream cable network several years ago, Carroll said. The upgrade of the old system in Colfax will significantly increase the offerings on cable television, making hundreds of channels available to subscribers. Video on demand and digital video recording will also become available. Additionally, high-speed internet service will be available in four different speeds, from three megabit up to 50 megabits. Even at three megabits, the offering would be twice as fast as wireless service now available in Colfax, Carroll said. Telephone services will also be upgraded, with voicemail, caller ID and call waiting becoming options, according to a statement from Placer County. Jerry Gamez, newly appointed county Administrative Services Department director, said that the county is pleased that rural residents are getting high-speed communications services. “We have been working diligently with our private partners to get this kind of connectivity to as many residents as possible,” Gamez said. In recent years, Lake Tahoe, North Auburn, Monte Verde Estates near Foresthill and Iowa Hill have had television, internet and telephone services upgraded. Supervisor Jennifer Montgomery, whose 5th District encompasses much of eastern Placer County, said the county is appreciative of discussions with Colfax to get to a point where Wave Broadband is poised to install communications systems that are commonplace in the county’s more urban areas. “More and more of the rural areas of Placer County are finally getting off the digital divide and being able to access these important and desired services,” Montgomery said.