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.”
RaceTV has been a highly anticipated product and we are happy to announce that we are now accepting orders from customers in Stallion Springs and Boron as well as other existing markets. At this time we are offering one TV package with a second package coming this fall.
The price for our new RaceTV package is $95* a month as a stand alone product and includes up to 300 HD-channels. For the full channel line-up please see the link below or visit our services page on the RACE website. RACE also offers a bundle for $180* that includes all of our top of the line packages (Gigafy Me, Unlimited Phone and Expanded RaceTV) as well as the necessary equipment.
With features such as “Catch Up” and “Restart”, you won’t have to worry about missing your favorite shows. “Catch UP” allows you to go back and watch programming you missed while “Restart” lets you start a live episode from the beginning.
Have more than one TV? RACE will provide one complimentary DVR box and homeowners will be able to rent additional set top boxes ($7/each) for up to 4 additional TVs. You don’t need a DVR box for each TV to record tonight’s episode of “American Idol”. With one DVR box, you can record up to 5 shows at once.
RaceTV requires a 1-year contract to waive the $150 installation fee. If you are interested in signing up for RaceTV, give us a call today to get started. 877-722-3833
The weather couldn’t have been more perfect on Saturday when RACE held their informational meeting for Bear Valley Springs residents. Perhaps that is what lead to such a great turn out, or perhaps it was due to the fact that the community is in such need for reliable broadband services and RACE seems to be the solution residents have been waiting for. Lead by CEO, Raul Alcaraz, the meeting provided a lot of helpful information for the community.
Alcaraz explained in detail why certain areas are not included in the maps found online and how the project areas are determined using standards set by the CPUC. The area removed from the initial application includes the top of Bear Valley (Deertrail, Paramount, Starland). However, RACE hopes to provide service to this area in the future as a 100% self-funded project. Alcaraz also dispelled rumors that the funds granted to the company were running out and that the company WILL be providing service to the areas shown in the service maps found on the company website.
RACE has awarded contracts to local contractors to begin the buildout of the project starting by their POP (point-of-presence) right outside Stallion Springs on Banducci. Construction crews will begin working down Banducci up Pellisier and along 202 making their way to the gate of Bear Valley Springs. Residents in the area can expect to see crews working within the next 2-3 weeks, and RACE hopes to begin installs in the area in late fall of 2016.
Attendees pointed out the missed deadlines set forth by RACE previously, and RACE understands the frustrations. RACE is building brand-new infrastructure and as is to be expected with construction, delays can and have occurred, especially in regards to permits and unexpected issues such as replacement of utility poles. Based on previous experience with other communities such as Boron and Stallion Springs, the expected timeline to have all zones up and running in Bear Valley Springs is 8-16 months.
Bear Valley Springs has been divided into 12 zones (not including Cummings Valley and Fairview Ranches). To see the zones and their designated borders, please visit our zoomable map or see below:
For more information on construction questions regarding homes, visit our FAQ page at www.race.com/faq.
Come to The Whiting Center to learn more about what’s next!
Thank you for considering Race as your next Internet provider. Many residents in the area have reached out about service from us, and we know that many of you want to know more about what is going on with construction and about service in Bear Valley Springs.
On Saturday 6/25, our team will be holding an informational meeting for everyone in Bear Valley Springs.
It is a great opportunity for you to have a one-on-one conversation with members of our construction team and get answers to any questions you may have about the company, our products and services as well as construction.
The meeting will be held at the Whiting Center at 3:00pm on Saturday 6/25/2016. If you would like more information on the event, please call us at 877-722-3833 or visit our Events page on Facebook to let us know you’re interested in attending.
Whether you’re gaming, binging Netflix or video-conferencing in to an important meeting, Race Communications offers consistent, seamless performance at the speed of light. Race keeps it simple by offering two plans, our Basic Broadband+ and Gigafy Me plans, but what is the difference and which plan should you choose?
Imagine driving down a highway heading to your favorite restaurant. You’re cruising down the road going as fast as your car will take you. As you’re driving, more and more cars are entering the highway. If you’re driving on a two-lane highway, you will notice that you have to slow down as traffic increases. This is your Basic Broadband+ plan. If you live in a smaller household this is a dependable plan that provides speeds up to 25Mbps in both directions.
Our Gigafy Me plan on the other hand, is like a four lane highway. It can handle more traffic without you slowing down. At 1,000 megabits per second, bottlenecks are gone, no matter how many computers, video streams, game consoles and smartphones you have going at once.
If you’re an active Internet user or would like to work from home, we recommend selecting the gigabit plan from Race Communications for optimal performance.
Race recently launched it’s new website in March 2016, and today we launched our new blog. You don’t need to go through our website to access the blog. You can visit it directly by going to http://www.race-fiberblog.com.
You will notice that we have kept some of the content from our old news section. These posts were big hits and have been requested by a lot of you since the website was launched.
We hope you enjoy our new site and blog and that we can provide you with the tools and information needed to make Race your preferred Internet provider.