Future of North Coast broadband discussed in Fortuna

FORTUNA – Local, state, and federal representatives met to discuss the future of broadband service in Northern California.
The Redwood Coast Broadband Conference began in 2005 with the goal of bringing a fiber optic line into Humboldt County. Now there are two such lines and a third along Highway 299 is in the planning phase.
Service providers, policy makers and elected officials met at the river lodge in Fortuna to identify and overcome barriers to such projects. For example, thirty-four regulatory agencies have authority over the 299 fiber optic line.
Gregg Foster, Executive Director of the Redwood Region Economic Development Commission, said broadband is increasingly important to making progress as a community. Students are often required to use the internet for state testing and rural areas are increasingly reliant on tele-medicine.