Getting Smart: Know Your Facts About IFAN 

High-speed Internet is essential for quality of life. With job applications, health services and homework assignments living in the Digital Space, there are many households still in the dark. In California alone, 16 percent of the state’s population do not have high-speed Internet at home and 30 percent do not have broadband and a computing device.

Broadband Internet allows users to access the Internet-related services at significantly higher speeds than traditional dial-up modem connections.

Back in 2008, The California Advance Services Fund (CASF) was created to close the Digital Divide to provide grants and loans for the deployment of broadband infrastructure in unserved and underserved areas by collecting a few cents per month on phone bills to authorize and fund new projects.

But with funding running out, the CASF can be renewed again in 2017, expiring in 2023 pending authorization from the California Legislature. The Internet for All Now (IFAN) bill was introduced by Assembly Member Eduardo Garcia.

Since 2009, Race Communications has dedicated extensive resources to building and providing fiber-based Internet services to nearly 12,000 homes in unserved and underserved communities throughout California starting with the Mojave Air & Spaceport, which is now one of the largest private space research and development centers in California.

In Stallion Springs alone, Race Communications has made their much-needed services available to over 1,200 homes and plans to deliver service to another 2,400 homes in Bear Valley Springs, a nearby gated community.

Today, Race is the largest recipient of the CASF fund with 22 projects stretching the Eastern Sierras North to the Nevada border. (Please see map for related projects). Without CASF and “middle-mile,” which are providers that link a core network to a local plant, projects such as Digital 395, communities like Stallion Springs, Bear Valley Springs and Boron would not be able to get fiber connectivity, thus improving day-to-day life and boosting local economies.

For companies such as Race, funding like CASF is essential, which is why we support the passage of IFAN. As a company, we’ve seen firsthand the positive impact fiber optic connections can bring to a community. From boosting local economies and revitalizing communities there are so many benefits from a bill such as IFAN.

Benefits of High-Speed Internet

Public Health: Emergency Responders depend on broadband to operate efficiently in the field. Faster connections allow for First Responders to have faster and more coordinated responses with nearby agencies.

Public Safety: It is very common for some rural public safety agencies to lose communications in heavy rain, fog and snow and makes it even harder for law enforcement to dispatch an officer or have access to electronic records. Enabling a faster network from the middle-mile provider to the last-mile alleviates officer safety issues. Police in Boron have me and again commented on the vast improvement in their response times since Race brought fiber Internet connectivity to their city.

Education: Nationally, as many as 7 in 10 teachers assign homework that requires access to broadband, but one in three house- holds do not have access to broadband services. Race customers in gigafied communities have not only seen their children’s grades improve, but many have also gone back to complete higher education or attain a Master’s degree allowing them to better their economic situation.

What can you do to show your support for IFAN & CASF? Visit http://www.internetforallnow.org/ and subscribe with your email address for updates.

For more information on IFAN and California Emerging Technologies Fund (CETF)

http://www.cetfund.org/investments/IFAN

 

RACE is coming!

The weather couldn’t have been more perfect on Saturday when RACE held their informational meeting for Bear Valley Springs residents. Perhaps that is what lead to such a great turn out, or perhaps it was due to the fact that the community is in such need for reliable broadband services and RACE seems to be the solution residents have been waiting for. Lead by CEO, Raul Alcaraz, the meeting provided a lot of helpful information for the community.

Alcaraz explained in detail why certain areas are not included in the maps found online and how the project areas are determined using standards set by the CPUC. The area removed from the initial application includes the top of Bear Valley (Deertrail, Paramount, Starland). However, RACE hopes to provide service to this area in the future as a 100% self-funded project. Alcaraz also dispelled rumors that the funds granted to the company were running out and that the company WILL be providing service to the areas shown in the service maps found on the company website.

RACE has awarded contracts to local contractors to begin the buildout of the project starting by their POP (point-of-presence) right outside Stallion Springs on Banducci. Construction crews will begin working down Banducci up Pellisier and along 202 making their way to the gate of Bear Valley Springs. Residents in the area can expect to see crews working within the next 2-3 weeks, and RACE hopes to begin installs in the area in late fall of 2016.

Attendees pointed out the missed deadlines set forth by RACE previously, and RACE understands the frustrations. RACE is building brand-new infrastructure and as is to be expected with construction, delays can and have occurred, especially in regards to permits and unexpected issues such as replacement of utility poles. Based on previous experience with other communities such as Boron and Stallion Springs, the expected timeline to have all zones up and running in Bear Valley Springs is 8-16 months.

Bear Valley Springs has been divided into 12 zones (not including Cummings Valley and Fairview Ranches). To see the zones and their designated borders, please visit our zoomable map or see below:

BearValley

For more information on construction questions regarding homes, visit our FAQ page at www.race.com/faq.

Race lowers pricing on “Gigafy Me” plan.

In an effort to help the United States catch up to the world’s internet bandwidth leaders, Race has announced a major restructuring of it’s internet plans.

Race is dropping all but two internet plans, and has dropped the price on the company’s symmetrical 1000 Mbps plan to $60-a-month, bringing it to a lower price point than the two slower plans — an $85/month 250 Mbps and a $65/month 100 Mbps — the company has now dropped.

Race will continue to offer a budget friendly plan called Basic Broadband+ that meets (and exceeds) the new minimum for broadband as ruled by the FCC, with 25mbps download and upload speeds. BB+ is $25/month.

Bandwidth is not the commodity that many cable and DSL providers make it out to be. Companies sell bandwidth over their aging infrastructure as though it is a limited, non-renewable resource, and it is keeping Americans behind in terms of innovative technology, while making large profits for internet and cable providers. 

Improving U.S. broadband speed and penetration is important to Race, and the company hopes to see positive changes and economic growth in it’s service areas by establishing a new service model that allows for true high-speed internet to be the norm, making it easier to use broadband to help solve many of today’s big challenges, such as developing higher quality education and healthcare.