Tahoe Prosperity Center gets grant for broadband study
INCLINE VILLAGE – Tahoe Prosperity Center is getting a $167,000 grant to study broadband needs in the Lake Tahoe Basin. The money comes from the California Public Utilities Commission advanced services fund and a Gold Country Broadband Consortium. According to the Tahoe Prosperity Center, the grant will pay for a two-year project to map broadband infrastructure; assess community-wide broadband needs and speeds; determine un-served and underserved areas; and help interested Internet Service Providers write infrastructure grants to the CPUC for broadband expansion projects in un-served and underserved areas. Community needs assessments and speed tests will be done in both the California and Nevada sides of the Tahoe Basin, but the resulting infrastructure grants will be restricted to California. The Tahoe Prosperity Center will explore additional funding sources for broadband expansion projects as part of the project. Tahoe Prosperity Center has hired Bev Ducey to manage the broadband project. A former board member for Tahoe Truckee Unified School District, Ducey has more than 20 years of experience in project management, marketing and communications, 12 of them as vice president at Charles Schwab & Co., according to the Tahoe Prosperity Center. Ducey also has worked with the Tahoe Prosperity Center for the last year on grant writing and compliance and project management. "We are thrilled Bev decided to take on this new challenge with the TPC managing the broadband initiative full-time," Heidi Hill Drum, executive director of the Tahoe Prosperity Center, said in a press release. "She has the experience and knowledge to help our communities determine their future broadband needs and to help find funding to implement the infrastructure development required." Starting in August, the Tahoe Prosperity Center will ask community members to participate in both home and work speed tests of their Internet connections and complete a survey about current Internet Service Providers. Speed test data will help identify gaps in connectivity, determine priority areas for consideration for future broadband expansion and provide real-time statistics on the overall picture of a "connected or not-connected Tahoe Basin," according to the Tahoe Prosperity Center. For more information visit http://www.tahoeprosperity.org.