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Step 1 – How we obtain CASF grants.

“The CPUC develops and implements policies for the telecommunications industry, to include ensuring fair, affordable universal access to necessary services; developing clear rules of the game and regulatory tools to allow flexibility without compromising due process; removing barriers that prevent a fully competitive market; and reducing or eliminating burdensome regulation.” –California Public Utilities Commission

In order for Race Telecommunications to bring fiber internet to areas of California that are deemed unserved or underserved by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), we must first go through the grant process as specified by the California Advanced Services Fund (CASF). Unserved areas are defined as territories not currently served by any form of wireline or wireless facilities-based broadband, meaning that internet connectivity is available only through dial-up service. Underserved areas are outlined as having access to broadband internet services, but said advertised services do not meet the state requirements of at least 6 mbps download, 1.5 mbps of upload, capabilities. In the entire state of California, 67% has been deemed unserved or underserved through the above-mentioned guidelines. As such, the CASF has been created to rectify this by promoting the distribution of high-quality advanced communications services to Californians.

The CASF was authorized on December 20, 2007 by the CPUC to provide grants in an effort to bridge the “digital divide” across the state of California. Funding eligibility for said grants is based on guidelines established by the state of California. Eligibility for these grants requires applicants to qualify as a “telephone corporation”, establish a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (CPCN), operate as a wireless carrier registered with the CPUC, and/or operate as a non-telephone corporation. Race Telecommunications qualifies for CASF grants as a “telephone corporation” with a CPCN. We can also be referenced as a Licensed Competitive Local Exchange Carrier (CLEC). It is by meeting these qualifications that Race has the privilege of being approved for CASF grants for projects like Gigafy Occidental. This grant, approved in August, 2016, awarded Race funding for the deployment of a last-mile fiber network that is spread over a 4.2 square mile area in Occidental, located in Sonoma County.

The process for applying for these funds is intensive. As of June 26, 2014 the CASF established application timelines for applicants, local government agencies, and non-telephone corporations.

All in all, it is a long path between identifying in-need areas of California, applying for the CASF grants to provide telecom services to these regions, and reaching a final approval.

Not to mention, being approved is just the first step for Race!


Preliminary site surveys – a new process

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.

2. Design.
We use the data gathered to create a map of where we can build based on existing infrastructure and obstacles.

3. Construction.
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.

Race field engineers are currently completing preliminary site surveys throughout Bear Valley and Oak Knolls.

What is a preliminary site survey?

Race field engineers survey homes throughout a project area (for example Bear Valley or Oak Knolls), house by house and make an initial determination as to whether a home is an aerial or underground installation.

This information is handed over to our communications team who will reach out to homeowners who have inquired about Race services and have been designated as underground, and provide them with the next steps.

Homeowners who would like to discuss their options or would like to proceed with the necessary work to their homes will be given the opportunity to schedule a secondary site survey with a Race field engineer who will explain in detail what work needs to be done on the property.

For more information on aerial vs. underground installations, take a peek at this handy document on Fiber Installation



RACE welcomes BVS into the fiber family!

Race is a licensed telecommunications company that provides fiber based internet, phone, and television services to various communities across California. Predominantly, we work to provide our services to areas of California that are currently unserved or underserved. As such, we are in the process of completing construction and beginning our release of Bear Valley Springs.

On October 15th of this year, RACE held an informational meeting at the Bear Valley Springs Police department as a precursor to the release of our fiber-to-home services in their area. In attendance was CEO Raul Alcaraz, who discussed our product offerings, explained our installation process, and made the announcement that the BVS police department was the first RACE customer in Bear Valley.

In addition, our product offerings were presented to the community so that residents could see fiber working in the community with their own eyes. To summarize, Race fiber-to-home internet is up to 1000x faster than other local DSL and cable internet services. Our internet has symmetrical speeds, meaning it downloads and uploads content at the same speed and consistency in both directions. Being that Race’s internet is fiber-to-home installation, the service is more resistant to inclement weather, especially as compared to traditional copper wiring. Additionally, Race does not implement data caps, so our customers can use their internet service whenever they want and however much they want.

Race also offers fiber based home phone service for the highest-quality voice calls. Our unlimited phone lines come with nationwide calling, a full range of call and phone features, and very low international rates. While the basic plan is ideal for very low usage situations, our full-featured unlimited plan is geared toward typical households. Regardless of plan choice, all of our phone service is delivered via traditional landline (not Voice Over IP) and as such, is reliable even in a power outage.

Race’s newest product, RaceTV, is a comprehensive television offering. This new, top of the line product is also delivered over our company’s fiber-to-the-premises network and subsequently does not compress the video data, thus delivering the most superior HD-quality video. The service includes all of the most popular US cable stations-nearly 300 HD and SD channels, which includes a variety of news, sports and entertainment offerings. Furthermore, Race also offers the newest in DVR technology and Video OnDemand. Lastly, Race has comprised a full fiber based bundle which offers all of our highest end products and equipment for UNDER $200/mo.

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.

We spend a lot of time researching and exploring your communities in an effort to develop our construction plan. RACE must research and work alongside local authorities on permitting and other issues. Due to a number of factors, we can never promise an installation date for newly released communities. However, we would like to announce that we will soon be reaching out to residents to explain the ordering and installation process in further detail as we begin to release the order form to certain areas within the blue zone in the coming weeks.

Finally, Race would like to welcome our new customers in Bear Valley Springs to the fiber family!

For more information on zones, please visit the following link. To search the map: Select the right corner of the map to “View Larger Map”. Select the magnifying glass and type in your address and click it, your address will pop up on the map with a marker.

RACE Communications expanding to Oak Knolls, Alpine Forest, Cummings Valley, Brite Lake and Fairview Ranches.

While the weather forecast predicted rain, wind and gloominess, RACE got lucky and was greeted with calm breeze and partly sunny skies as well as a large turnout from the local community when they hosted their first informational meeting for the outlying communities of Tehachapi. On October 15th, CEO Raul Alcaraz and other team members came to Brite Lake to speak about the company and the ongoing project to bring fiber internet services to the nearby communities of Oak Knolls, Alpine Forest, Cummings, Valley, Brite Lake and Fairview Ranches.

In today’s connected world, reliable, high-speed internet is an absolute necessity, and it is our company’s mission to provide advanced communications at an affordable price. Launched in 1995, RACE is a leading provider of fiber internet service throughout California, and our company has recently released its newest product, RaceTV, to give future customers the best in home entertainment.

“When?” and “How?” were the two questions that Alcaraz was asked over and over again. Residents of the community know about the products and want the services so how will the process work and when can they expect service?

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 it’s 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.

2. Design

We use the data gathered to create a map of where we can build based on existing infrastructure and obstacles.

3. Construction

This is the step residents 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 a region, and residents can choose the services they want for their home or business. This will initiate the installation process which has it’s own steps.

At this time we expect the first zone (Zone Cyan) to be released by the end of the year pending the resolution of an obstacle with our build along HWY 202 (permitting)

For information on the zone designations and to find your specific zone, please see our services map.

To search the map: Select the right corner of the map to “View Larger Map”. Select the magnifying glass and type in your address and click it, your address will pop up on the map with a marker.

Please keep in mind that zones are a moving target and can change or expand based on several external factors.

CEO Raul Alcaraz to participate at 3rd annual Stanford Latino Entrepreneur Leaders Program.

PALO ALTO, Calif., Sept. 26, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — The Latino Business Action Network (LBAN) has selected 77 Latino entrepreneurs from across the United States to be a part of the third cohort of the Stanford Latino Entrepreneur Leaders Program (SLELP3). SLELP3 is a six-week program jointly developed by Stanford faculty and LBAN.  Its focus is to help Latino business owners scale – i.e., grow – their businesses. As part of this immersive six-week program, SLELP3 provides participants with valuable concepts and frameworks, enhanced access to capital, personal mentorship from successful entrepreneurs and investors, and a better understanding of the capital resources necessary to grow their businesses, create jobs, and build a stronger economy.

The applicant selection criteria was developed to rigorously filter very early stage companies and target those companies that have received market and/or investor validation. To be considered for this program, the preferred criteria for applicants is to have either generated $1 million in revenue or have raised $500k in funding. As part of the six-week program, the entrepreneurs will take a customized online course based on curriculum developed by two Stanford Professors; Huggy Rao, Stanford Graduate School of Business Faculty and Bob Sutton, Stanford School of Engineering Faculty, who are internationally recognized as experts in scaling businesses.

SLELP3 business owners are part of an elite and talented group of innovators and business leaders whose drive, work ethic, and ambition will help to grow our economy and communities acrossthe United States.

About Stanford University and LBAN Collaboration

LBAN and Stanford University collaborate on programs for Latino Entrepreneurs including the research focused Stanford Latino Entrepreneurship Initiative (SLEI) and the Stanford Latino Entrepreneur Leaders Program (SLELP). LBAN endeavors to make America stronger by empowering Latino entrepreneurs to grow large businesses through entrepreneurship research, education, and networks. LBAN’s ultimate goal is to double the number of $100 million and $1 billion Latino owned businesses by 2020.

From: PRNewsWire

Crowley Lake Information Meeting Summary

This past weekend was a busy one for the residents of Mono County with Mammoth Rocks – Taste of the Sierra, but that did not deter residents from attending our information meeting on Saturday, August 27th. Leading the meeting was CEO, Raul Alcaraz, who took time to explain the various steps of fiber construction. So what goes into building a fiber network? What has RACE been up to since receiving grant approval for the “Gigafy Mono” project.

Step 1: Designing the network. At this stage, we determine the path and size of fiber cables in our network as well as identifying the size and location of connection points (where homes and businesses will hook up to). This is a long process and can take anywhere from 6-12 months to complete depending on the area size.

Step 2: Pole licensing and ordering materials. Utility poles are owned by telephone and power companies. Third party users like RACE must apply and pay a fee to attach. This is also the time we go ahead and order the materials needed for the project.

Step 3: Make-ready. This is one of the most time-consuming and expensive parts of the process accounting for up to 40% of the cost. The make-ready process consists of making room for the new lines on poles, which could involve moving cable TV up, the phone company down, or both. If the pole is too small or too full, it may need to be replaced. Replacing poles is expensive due to the involved process of setting the new pole and transferring all of the phone, TV, and power lines.

Step 4: Hang strand on utility poles. Fiber optic cables need to be supported by a steel cable, or “strand.” Installers in bucket trucks will drill a hole through the pole and install a bolt that attaches the steel strand to the pole. Then they hang the strand on the pole.

Step 5: Lash fiber cable to strand. The fiber-optic cables are attached to the strand by being lashed on with wire. This is done using a cable lasher which is pulled along the length of the fiber cable and strand.

Step 6. Add splice and connection points. Splice cases and slack loops are added at various points along the network. The splice case is where each section of the fiber optic cable is joined together, while the slack loop provides some extra fiber cable to facilitate restoration of service in the event the cable is damaged.

Step 7. Splice fiber segments. To join lengths of fiber together, a technician heats up the ends of the fiber strands and fuses them together to form a single strand.

Step 8: Install drop cables. Once the network backbone is constructed, small fiber cables are connected to the backbone and the customer’s building. These drops can be aerial or in a conduit, depending upon how the customer’s current utilities reach their home.

Step 9: Install electronics and light your network. Specialized electronics are needed at both ends of the fiber-optic cable to “light” the fiber and provide a usable Internet connection. This includes Optical Network Terminal (“ONT”) at the customer’s home or office. ONT’s typically provide multiple places to connect Internet devices and phones. Once the devices are placed, engineers program and activate the service so that it can be connected to your computer or Wi-Fi router.

In the coming weeks, our trucks will be in Crowley Lake and Sunny Slopes and we hope to turn up our first customer by the end of the year!


CPUC Approves Grant for Fiber-to-the-Home Internet to the Occidental Area

The rural community of Occidental in western Sonoma County will finally join the 21st Century with reliable, affordable, fiber-to-the-home high-speed broadband Internet.

SONOMA COUNTY – On Thursday August 18th, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) unanimously approved a grant for construction of the Race Communications Gigafy Occidental Project for fiber-to-the-home, high-speed broadband Internet to the previously unserved area west of the town of Occidental. The grant is funded by the California Advanced Services Fund (CASF) administered and managed by the CPUC.

The project covers approximately 5 square miles of hilly terrain with very tall redwood forests and highly dispersed homes, vineyards and small farms. The complex terrain makes it unfeasible to bring broadband Internet to the community using anything other than a fiber solution.

The approval of the project represents the result of a determined effort by members of the community to bring broadband access to the approximately 500 households in this rural area. The community organized public meetings with the CPUC and coordinated letters of support from local businesses, public safety officials and local schools. In addition, almost half of the community wrote personal letters of support detailing their business, health, education and other needs for Internet. The community also worked with the CPUC to run speed tests and map the area to document unserved status. Community organizers surveyed residents to verify that the vast majority of households would subscribe to the service. This assisted Race and the CPUC to justify the need and business case for the project.

Access Sonoma Broadband (ASB) and the North Bay/North Coast Broadband Consortium actively supported the community and helped stimulate its grass roots efforts. It also took on the role of working with supervisors, legislators and government officials to win their support. Michael Nicholls, Co-Chair of ASB commented, “Our experience in Occidental with community organizing and government outreach has given us a framework for replicating this success in other North Bay communities.”

Race is based in the San Francisco Bay area and has a successful track record of delivering fiber solutions to rural communities that are both affordable and sustainable. “Access to high-speed broadband continues to be one of the most challenging issues facing rural areas in California.” Said Race CEO, Raul Alcaraz. “As a native of the Bay Area, I care deeply about our local communities. Our team is proud to work with the CPUC, ASB and local community organizers to deliver fiber-based solutions that are good for the community and sustainable as a long-term business.”