Plumas-Sierra Telecommunications has continued to expand its systems during the past year. We were able to acquire the abandoned cable TV systems in Portola, Mohawk Valley and Loyalton, and have been repairing and upgrading them to offer broadband internet service. We currently offer services on the coax system connected to our fiber backbone in East Quincy, Portola, Delleker, Whitehawk and Graeagle.
We also expanded wireless coverage, and are able to offer wireless broadband service with download speeds as fast as 20 Mbps in the Susan River Valley area, Honey Lake Valley, Red Rock, the north- ern part of Sierra Valley, Sierra Brooks, Valley Ranch and portions of C Road. We are working to expand this system further in the near future.
In addition, we are expanding our fiber system. Through joint PSREC and PST projects, we expanded fiber, coax and wireless service in upper Mohawk Valley and the Chandler Road region.
This can happen when enough people band together and sign up for service or, in some cases, like Gold Mountain, a group pays for the subdivision to be covered.
Our next project on the coax system is West Quincy followed by Loyalton/Sierra Brooks and then Plumas Pines. In some areas, like Plumas Pines, the cable was directly buried in the ground and is in poor condition. This requires additional time to complete repairs.
PST also provides wholesale supply, connections to Reno, and to multiple cellular providers in the region, allowing them to offer faster speeds on their networks.
PST has a goal of providing broadband services to as many members as possible. Many of our members are on acreage with a lot of trees. This makes service more challenging. We have been experimenting with a new technology to try and get better service in heavily treed areas. If this new technology continues to work well, we will be expanding broadband coverage into areas like Cromberg, Sierraville and Calpine.
As you would expect, finances are a major factor in determining broadband expansion. To keep the cooperative’s bankers happy, we have had to focus on the densest areas for growth. PST will continue to focus on deployment in areas with the greatest potential for a faster rate of return, minimal time for deployment, and long-term value to our members. This will give us the financial strength to roll out wider coverage in the long run.
Another of PST’s purposes is to share costs with the electric side of the business. This occurs whether or not PST makes a taxable profit. The relationship with PST has saved PSREC’s members millions of dollars that would have otherwise had to come through rates.
For more information on our services, please call us at (530) 832-4126 or visit our website at www.pst.coop.