Paso Fiber Connect
Paso Robles Fiber Optic Connectivity Project
Proposed EDA CARES Act Funding Project Overview
The Economic Development Adminstration (EDA), through their current 2020 Public Works and Economic Adjustment Assistance Funding Opportunity, has created a supplimental funding addendum supported by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, And Economic Security (CARES) Act. The EDA's funding opportunity is designed to fund projects that will either sustain or create jobs in areas that have been affected by the current COVID-19 Pandemic. In response to the EDA's funding opportunity, the City of Paso Robles has developed Phase I of their city-wide "Paso Fiber Connect" project which will bring City sponsored high-speed broadband internet via fiber connectivity, providing enterprise-level internet for current and future businesses as well as a low-cost, high-speed alternative to the current limited internet options available for residents.
The City is proposing to extend a fiber optic network throughout its Downtown core and west side, which is a federal Opportunity Zone, and to five additional commercial and industrial job centers in the eastern and southern portions of the City (Gateway, Commerce, Creston, Wisteria, Union areas, on map). The grant-funded portion of the project would build on the City's investment in conduit installed over the last 5 years by installing:
- fiber optic cable in 4 miles of roadway where the City has already installed conduit, and
- installing conduit and fiber optic cable in an additional 9.4 miles of public right-of-way.
Expanding the network to increase connectivity to key economic development nodes would facilitate a public-private partnership with an internet service provider to provide lower cost high speed internet to businesses and residents. Additional connectivity to other job centers is planned for future construction.
The provisioning of fiber along 13.4 linear miles would serve approximately 2,500 businesses and over 10,000 jobs. Low-cost access to high-speed internet would support job retention and creation for existing businesses as well and planned and potential industrial, commercial and mixed-use developments. Fiber optic connectivity would support business attraction and retention in areas such as specialized manufacturing to support the local agriculture and viticulture industries, ag-tech development, and tech companies or telecommuters relocating from larger cities and seeking high-speed internet access from home. The project could also facilitate distance learning, workforce development training and tele-med connectivity.
- Design Phase – underway; estimated completion 3-4 months
- Federal Procurement for Construction Phase – 1-2 months
- Construction Phase - estimated to be underway within 6 months; completed within 12-18 months
- Total project budget: $3,000,000
- EDA Grant Application: $2,400,000
- Local match (Paso Robles General Fund): $600,000