The digital divide is growing, and California has 1.2 million unserved rural residents, representing 54% of our rural population. For residents living along the HWY 174 corridor, that is about to change.
Race Communications will be providing residents with a new state-of-the-art fiber to the home network, and will offer gigabit speeds at $119/month.
While construction is underway, we highly recommend submitting an inquiry form.
By submitting an inquiry, you will be first in line to receive the most up to date news surrounding the project. Once construction is almost complete, we will release our order form for your community where you can choose the services you want for your home.
On January 10th, 2019 the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) voted to approve the Race's purchase of Bright Fiber Network, Inc. In early-summer 2019, Race Communications’ head contractor, HP Communications broke ground in Nevada County! Work began with underground construction in the CASF grant-approved community of Grass Valley along the HWY 174-corridor. As of early August, over 75,000' of aerial fiber has been constructed. At this time, Race is working through permitting for our Point of Presence (PoP) location and hope to have the building set over the course of the next 60 days. Our PoP will be located near the Nevada County Airport and will house equipment that will power the Bright Fiber network.
Race is awarded the project after months of planning and close communication with decision makers. Race will then meet with all parties involved including engineers and construction crews.
Race surveys and tests the existing infrastructure in order to create CAD (computer-aided design) designs to display the layout of construction and the new fiber community.
Race applies for permits allowing the procurement of space on utility poles. Permitting must be approved before moving into the construction phase.
Steel cables are attached to utility poles in order to lash fiber optic cable to them. The fiber optic cables are ran from a centralized node that provides the laser light signal that will be converted into an Internet signal.
A smaller “fiber drop cable” is run to the home either aerially or underground (depending on site survey) and then equipment is installed before testing the signal.
An ONT (Optical Network Terminal) that converts the laser light from the fiber to electrical signals is installed and connected to a router inside the home. Internet connection from the router can come from either a hardwire or WiFi.
Race will supply internet, television and telephone services to Nevada County!
*with order of Internet
On January 10th, 2019 the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) voted to approve the Race's purchase of Bright Fiber Network, Inc.
This gives the green light to complete the fiber-to-the-home build! Engineering has been completed and permits will be submitted shortly! To watch our town hall meeting from 1/30/2019, please see below:
Why did it take so long to get this project approved? What was the hold up?
The project was filed with the Commission in February 2013. There were delays as the Commission worked through some challenges from other Internet providers in the area. There was a long delay as the Commission waited to see what a nearby wireless Internet service provider would build in the project area with an unrelated federal broadband grant.
The Commission finally approved the Bright Fiber CASF grant and fiber to the home project in December 2015. The prior investor backed out due to the long delay in regulatory approval. Despite over two years of good faith efforts, BFN was not able to finalize its required 40% matching funds from outside investors.
Finally in late 2017, BFN and Race began discussions. Race is an experienced Internet service provider that has received 10 CASF grants for rural broadband projects. Nine projects are built and the tenth one in progress. Race will provide the 40% matching funds and will purchase BFN and operate it as a wholly owned subsidiary.
Are all the funds for the Bright Fiber project now secured?
Yes. The CPUC has approved the 60% grant and Race will provide the other 40% for Phase I.
What goes into building Race fiber to a community?
Bringing our services to a community is a resource intensive project that requires careful research and planning. From start to finish there are 4 main phases to our process, each with its own sub-steps and processes.
1. Research and Exploration
We spend a lot of time in this phase, developing a construction plan for the communities we are researching and working with local authorities on permitting and other issues.
We use the data gathered to create a map of where we can build based on existing infrastructure and obstacles.
This is the step you see the most. Once our plans are complete, our crews get straight to work laying and splicing miles of fiber.
4. Sign up and Installation
Once our construction is almost complete, we will release our order form for your region, and you can choose the services you want for your home or business. This will initiate the installation process which has its own steps. Due to a number of factors, we can never promise an installation date for newly released communities.
Will Bright Fiber be using trenching or aerial deployment methods? Aren’t aerial deployments more prone to damage from storm damage similar to the power and telephone lines? The original grant was for an underground method.
You are correct that the original grant in December 2015 based on 2012 costs was for a primarily underground method. However, in the last six years, costs have gone up dramatically for the project. In order to deliver the project within the original budget, Race is choosing to use its typical hybrid construction method which uses both aerial and underground methods. Race has used this method in ten CASF projects to date successfully.
When will the Bright Fiber project begin service to my home?
If your house or business is in the original Bright Fiber project area, you can expect service to begin sometime between mid to late 2019 to middle of 2020, depending on your location.
Is the broadband pricing the same as Race offers to other customers elsewhere?
Race is basing the broadband rates on those originally proposed by BFN in its original application.
What if I already paid $119 deposit to Bright Fiber? Will I lose that deposit?
Bright Fiber and Race have committed to honor all the $119 deposits paid to date. The $119 will be credited to your first month’s bill once you subscribe. If you paid a deposit but will not take the service (moving, change in plans, etc), you may request a full refund and the deposit will be returned to you.