County supports grant application that could help develop broadband strategic plan

The Lassen County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a letter showing its support for an application that could help assist a Broadband Strategic Plan for Lassen County.

The letter, directed to Malinda Matson, Economic Development Representative U.S. Department of Commerce, Economic Development Administration, was approved the the Tuesday, May 18 consent calendar.

“On behalf of the Lassen County Board of Supervisors, I am writing to convey Lassen County’s support for the Golden State Finance Authority’s Rural California Broadband Strategic Planning application to the U.S. Department of Commerce, Economic Development Administration under funding made possible by the American Rescue Plan Act,” read the approved letter.

“The application outlines an important program of work that would establish ‘foundational readiness’ for broadband investment and deployment across rural California. The proposed work would include the development of comprehensive broadband strategic plans for many of the rural counties in the state, Lassen County among them, that do not currently have such plans.

“Preparing for and expanding existing and new opportunities is a goal of Lassen County’s Comprehensive Economic Strategy (CEDS). High-speed, ubiquitous broadband availability in rural California is often a critical missing component of infrastructure that is needed to support those opportunities. A high-speed data connection is vital to allow a business to function efficiently. The lack of connectivity could also be the limiting factor for retaining, attracting new and growing commerce and trade.

“The development of broadband strategic plans for rural California counties will provide important benefits, including: First, it will allow communities to strategically expand broadband investment into unserved and under-served areas where it is needed most; second, it will provide the information needed to communicate and support effective decision making; and third, it will open the door for rural communities apply for federal or other funding opportunities to expand broadband that require (or strongly encourage) a current broadband strategic plan.

“Lassen County is one of the counties that will benefit from the work proposed in Golden State Finance Authority’s grant application. As such, we strongly support this application and request that you give it your highest level of consideration.”