Much of the region lacks access to any fiber network affecting broadband availability, quality and reliability. Efforts to provide broadband to all residents, businesses and the public sector will depend on significant investments in both middle and last mile infrastructure. Getting broadband to unserved and underserved communities requires unique approaches and partnerships.
The geographic and geologic challenges, coupled with the low population numbers, have resulted in a determination by larger telecom that increasing broadband access in the region does not fit ―investment return models.
In spite of the limited additional investment in expansion of service from major telecoms, the region has many last mile cable companies. There are many WISP entrepreneurs, and public and tribal entities willing to serve niche markets if they have help with infrastructure capital and get access to affordable backhaul.
For a variety of reasons, the coverage maps, including the National Broadband map and California state broadband maps, for significant portions of the region do not reflect reality. The errors in these maps must be corrected or the region may lose out on funding opportunities. We have in the past created our own GIS maps but they are in need of updating.