Bringing a Digital Future to the North Coast
The Digital 299 is a major infrastructure project whose goal is to significantly improve broadband access in Trinity County and the Redwood Coast. The centerpiece of Digital 299 is a 170-mile fiber optic cable that connects Eureka to the Redding/Cottonwood area. This network will transport massive amounts of digital content, supporting the region’s voice, video and data services. The network is designed for reliability during adverse conditions and disasters.
The project will consist of an underground conduit system, large-sized fiber optic cable, and a half-dozen prefabricated buildings. The cable will roughly follow State Route 299-W, but will diverge whenever possible onto alternative routes. The reason for following parallel paths is to minimize traffic control on SR299 during construction. The buildings are approximately 12’x24’ in size, and will be constructed in commercial areas of existing communities. Electronics on the network will operate with a highly reliable power system that uses a combination of commercial, battery, and generator-based power to ensure reliability under a wide range of conditions. The network will launch with an initial transport capacity of
250 gigabits per second.
Digital 299 will connect over 100 community institutions, such as schools, hospitals, clinics, public safety, and other government institutions with gigabit connections to the Internet. The project will also provide connections to 300 households in the Lewiston area, which has been designated as having sub-standard broadband speeds. The network will support other service providers throughout the area so that broadband speeds and service reliability will significantly improve elsewhere.
To improve public safety, the project will construct cellular towers in select areas to fill in coverage gaps along the SR299 corridor. Tower construction will be limited to areas where coverage today is absent or unsatisfactory. These towers will host equipment from national cellular providers so the area will enjoy the standard coverages they get elsewhere when they use their phones and other devices. The expanded cellular service will improve emergency notifications during storms, fires, or other threats, as well as provide better communications with first responders.
Digital 299 is more than just Internet. It is about improving quality of life and sustaining economic development. The north coast of California has contributed significantly to the economic well-being of California since Gold Rush days. It has been an important source of minerals, wood products, water and renewable power
that has made California the economic powerhouse that it is today. Now, as the world evolves into a post-industrial, digital economy it is important that the area has the necessary infrastructure to prosper and grow. More than satisfying the “wants” of today, the network will enable the region to thrive in the future.
The next generation of technology will be fueled by robotics, nanotechnology, materials science, artificial intelligence and other platforms, which together heavily depend on cloud computing and reliable broadband. The bandwidth provided by Digital 299 will be vital to businesses and consumers who want to access those
innovations and their associated benefits. With the help of Digital 299, the next thirty years will see massive changes in how we communicate, travel, shop, learn, manage our health, and participate in the community.
Digital 299 is being developed by Inyo Networks with support from local and state agencies. Approximately $25 Million in private investment has been raised for the project. Two-thirds of project funding is being provided by a California Advanced Services Funds (CASF) grant from the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC).
The CASF program assists broadband projects throughout rural parts of the state to off-set the extraordinary high costs of construction and limited commercial opportunities in those areas.
In addition to the California Public Utilities Commission, the project has had considerable support from state and local leaders as well as the California Center for Rural Policy, at Humboldt State University-- host agency for the Redwood Coast
The project is expected to start in 2019 obtaining environmental permits, rights-of-way, and engineering. Construction is expected to start after that and continue for 18 months.
Proposed D299 Route
CPUC Statewide Broadband Speed Map
D299 PROJECT Details
Three year undertaking, including permitting, design and build
Environmental feasibility established, agencies in support
Unique opportunity to capture international cable projects
Funding for Initiative
California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC)/California Advanced Services Fund (CASF) funds commitment
Other local and state agencies