Indio receives a $256K grant to expand internet access in underserved communities

The City of Indio received a $256,746 state grant to deploy high-speed broadband services to thousands of people in Downtown Indio and the Jewel neighborhood.

The Jewel neighborhood is located east of Jackson Street and north of 45th Avenue. Approximately 6,500 residents, which is almost a quarter of the residents in that area, do not have Internet access, according to city officials.

The Local Agency Technical Assistance Grant from the California Public Utilities Commission will fully fund the Broadband and Last Mile Design and Engineering Project, which lays the groundwork for the completion of Indio’s broader Fiber Master Plan .

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The project will produce the design, engineering and environmental documents necessary to support the master plan.

“The Internet is a necessity in today’s world and is critical to the success of individuals, students, families and businesses,” said City Manager Bryan Montgomery. “Providing affordable and reliable broadband will improve the quality of life, support educational achievement and increase the economic viability of our business community.”

In addition to improving Internet access for residents, the broadband improvements will benefit several key projects that are planned or underway, including the expansion of the College of the Desert’s Indio campus and approximately 2 million square feet of residential and commercial development in downtown the city.

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City officials add that the project will encourage the development of reliable and cost-effective broadband services, which will have a positive economic and social impact on local communities by narrowing the digital divide and expanding innovation, educational opportunities and training for business development. workforce.

“The expansion of fiber networks typically reaches newer homes and commercial developments, often leaving established neighborhoods with insufficient broadband,” said Ian Cozens, the city’s Director of Information Technology. “This project allows us to expand access to a vital service, provide faster connections and significantly improve the lives of our community members.”

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The Broadband and Last Mile Design and Engineering project is expected to be completed by December 2024.

Learn more about the project and the Fiber Master Plan at Indio.org/departments/economic-development/fiber-master-plan.

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