Paso Robles and Atascadero partnering to improve broadband access
Agreement will improve opportunities to bring broadband internet access to both cities
– The City of Paso Robles and the City of Atascadero are formalizing an agreement to partner on a North San Luis Obispo County Broadband Strategic Plan. The regional agreement will better align policy development and improve funding opportunities to bring broadband internet access to residents and businesses in both cities, according to a press release. Paso Robles City Council approved a Memorandum of Understanding on April 5, and Atascadero did the same on April 12, so the cities can now begin creating a strategic plan.
With internet access increasingly being referred to as the “fourth utility” behind water, gas and electricity, local communities are seeking ways to increase access to broadband internet for their residents and businesses.
Some of the benefits include:
- Supporting learning in schools, libraries, and homes
- Supporting job retention and creation
- Helping with business attraction, retention, and growth
- Allowing residents and visitors to work remotely
- Making telemedicine possible
- Laying the groundwork for future “Smart City” infrastructure
Paso Robles was recently awarded a $2.8 million grant from the Economic Development Agency (EDA) to improve broadband internet access by installing fiber optic cable throughout the city. Atascadero recently authorized $388,110 of SB 1090 funds for the Broadband Enhancement Project and to work with the City of Paso Robles to explore an operational relationship developing a northern San Luis Obispo County Broadband Strategic Plan.
Partnering together will allow both cities to share costs associated with developing a broader regional strategic plan. A request for proposals, seeking a qualified consultant to develop the strategic plan, will be released as soon as possible.
Developing the plan aligns with Paso Robles council’s goals and strategic priorities by:
1) Completing a broadband strategic plan
2) Promoting Paso Robles as a destination for the “Remote Economy”
For Atascadero, the importance of a partnership for internet connectivity is key to building better coverage. The ability to work with Paso Robles enables the community to work on a broader scope of broadband and connectivity for businesses, residents, and tourism. With 26 square miles, the City of Atascadero is the largest city in the county in terms of geography, which adds more geography to cover. The development of broadband aligns well with Atascadero’s Strategic Plan and city council’s focus on economic development.
Interested parties can contact Paso Robles Economic Development Manager Paul Sloan
at email@example.com or (805) 237-3888; and in Atascadero, contact Loreli Cappel, Deputy
Director of Economic Development at firstname.lastname@example.org or (805) 470-3480.