The jungle book

Paso Robles and Atascadero team up to improve broadband access

Paso Robles Mayor Steve Martin and Atascadero Mayor Heather Moreno shake hands.

The agreement will improve the possibilities of offering high-speed Internet access to the two cities

– The City of Paso Robles and the City of Atascadero formalize a partnership agreement on a North San Luis Obispo County Broadband Strategic Plan. According to a press release, the regional agreement will better align policymaking and improve funding opportunities to provide high-speed internet access to residents and businesses in both cities. The Paso Robles City Council approved a memorandum of understanding on April 5 and Atascadero did the same on April 12, so cities can now begin creating a strategic plan.

With Internet access increasingly seen as the “fourth utility” behind water, gas and electricity, local communities are looking for ways to increase access to high-speed Internet for their residents and their businesses.

Some of the benefits include:

  • Supporting learning in schools, libraries and homes
  • Support the maintenance and creation of jobs
  • Contribute to business attraction, retention and growth
  • Allow residents and visitors to work remotely
  • Make telemedicine possible
  • Laying the foundations for future “Smart City” infrastructures

Paso Robles recently received a $2.8 million grant from the Economic Development Agency (EDA) to improve high-speed Internet access by installing fiber optic cable throughout the city. Atascadero recently authorized $388,110 in SB 1090 funds for the Broadband Improvement Project and to work with the City of Paso Robles to explore an operational relationship developing a North San Luis Obispo County Broadband Strategic Plan .

The partnership will allow the two cities to share the costs associated with the development of a broader regional strategic plan. A request for proposals, seeking a qualified consultant to develop the strategic plan, will be issued as soon as possible.

The development of the plan aligns with the strategic goals and priorities of the Paso Robles Board by:

1) Development of a Broadband Strategic Plan
2) Promote Paso Robles as a destination for the “remote economy”

For Atascadero, the importance of a partnership for Internet connectivity is essential to establish better coverage. The ability to work with Paso Robles allows the community to work on a broader scope of broadband and connectivity for businesses, residents and tourism. At 26 square miles, the city of Atascadero is the largest city in the county by geography, which adds more geography to cover. Broadband development fits well with Atascadero’s strategic plan and the City Council’s focus on economic development.

Interested parties may contact Paul Sloan, Paso Robles Economic Development Manager
at [email protected] or (805) 237-3888; and Atascadero, contact Loreli Cappel, Assistant
Director of Economic Development at [email protected] or (805) 470-3480.

About the Author: News Staff

The Paso Robles Daily News news team wrote or edited this story based on local contributors and news releases. The press team can be contacted at [email protected].