Supervisor Dan Hamburg
On Mendocino County: “Mendocino County is a rural and geographically diverse county of 3800 square miles, and combined with our low population density this has made deployment of broadband infrastructure in many areas of the county a major challenge. We recognize that in order for Mendocino County to thrive economically in the 21st century, and to be a place where our kids have decent jobs and want to raise their families, affordable high-speed broadband for businesses and residents is essential.”
On Next Century Cities: “Joining Next Century Cities means the sharing of ideas and experiences, and receiving inspiration from others who have successfully traveled this road. This collaboration is the opportunity to learn from others, share resources, avoid pitfalls, and model best practices. It will connect us with communities nationwide that are taking the initiative to bring high-speed broadband to their citizens. Cities and towns that are successful have seen tremendous benefit and growth in their economies. Mendocino needs to adopt effective strategies for infrastructure development to create such opportunities for our residents.”
What Mendocino County is working on: Two grassroots groups have been working in Mendocino County for years to advocate for broadband deployment to close our digital divide, and to raise awareness of its importance for economic development and innovation, education, employment opportunities, public safety, and nearly all aspects of 21st century life. County government is taking a leadership role with the creation of a Broadband Working Group to identify broadband-related Goals & Strategies, and to develop an overall Broadband Plan. The County is also actively working to remove barriers to deployment through actions such as streamlining the permitting process for small wireless broadband projects. There is strong interest in two of our unincorporated towns in exploring options for a community-wide fiber network, including one that already owns a municipal utility. We look forward to learning how other rural towns and counties have overcome the enormous challenges similar to the ones we face.