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Will increase internet access, help attract tech businesses
PASO ROBLES, CA, September 21, 2021 – The United States Department of Commerce announced Sept. 16 that it will award the city of Paso Robles $2.8 million to expand broadband access and reliability in the city.
In August of 2020 the City submitted an application to the Economic Development Administration (EDA) for a CARES Act grant for the installation of high-speed, fiber optic internet connectivity on key corridors throughout the City, and to commit funding for the local match portion of 20 percent.
Paso Robles City Council’s adopted goals and strategic priorities include a tactic to “promote Paso Robles as a destination for the ‘Remote Economy’”, and to “pursue funding and opportunities to expand internet access and connectivity.” This grant meets that strategic priority.
The grant money comes from the Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration, and will be matched with $707,489 in local funds.
“Millions of rural Americans are held back by slow broadband or a complete lack of access, and my district is no exception,” U.S. Rep. Salud Carbajal, a Democrat whose district includes Paso Robles, said in a news release. “Reliable broadband allows our economy to grow, expands access to online health and learning opportunities, and improves quality of life. This is a huge step to ensure every member of our community has what they need to succeed in the 21st century.”
The Paso Robles broadband project will fund the installation of nearly 11,500 feet of new fiber optic cables in the city’s existing underground conduit, as well 52,500 feet of additional fiber optic cable in a new underground conduit to support the needs of the business community and residents within the city.
“The City of Paso Robles is grateful and excited about this grant. Expanding broadband access is vital to our community fabric, critical for education, and a significant tool for economic development,” said Paso Robles Mayor Steve Martin.
### Media contact: Paul Sloan, Economic Development Manager