Will fund the North County Broadband Strategic Plan

PASO ROBLES — The cities of Paso Robles and Atascadero were recently awarded a $200,000 grant from the California Public Utilities Commission for the North County Broadband Strategic Plan.

The grant is for costs related to the development of broadband network projects to benefit unserved or underserved Californians. Paso Robles and Atascadero have partnered to increase internet access for the residents and businesses of Northern San Luis Obispo County.

The two cities signed a partnership memorandum earlier this year and hired a consulting company to develop a broadband strategic plan. The CPUC grant will cover the costs of the consultant, and the strategic plan should be completed by March 2023.

“This represents the fruit of our efforts to cooperate in the pursuit of improved broadband services,” stated Paso Robles Mayor Steve Martin. “Paso Robles and Atascadero have stepped up to address this issue and this grant rewards the joint effort to benefit our residents and further our efforts for regional economic development.”

“Increasing broadband connectivity for Atascadero residents means making it more convenient for seniors to access telehealth appointments and connect with loved ones, better bandwidth for students studying virtually, and revived investment in remote entrepreneurs who represent a growing and substantial portion of our City’s workforce,” said Atascadero Mayor Heather Moreno.

“The North County Broadband Strategic Plan project will position our community as ‘shovel ready’ for future infrastructure funding opportunities from both state and federal sources,” said Ty Lewis, Paso Robles City Manager. “Receiving this important grant from the CPUC means we have achieved this at no cost to our local residents.”

Developing a North San Luis Obispo County Broadband Strategic Plan aligns with Paso Robles City Council’s goals and strategic priorities by 1) completing a broadband strategic plan and 2) promoting Paso Robles as a destination for the “Remote Economy.”