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Spiral Internet plans for gigabit internet connection for parts of Nevada County in late spring

The first customers of a high-speed fiber optic network in Nevada County could be online by late spring, if the project remains on schedule.

Spiral Internet plans to begin construction in early 2017 on Zone A, the first of three stages of the gigabit internet connection. Some customers in the that first stage, a 26-square-mile area that includes spots along Highway 174 and Dog Bar Road, could be online months afterward, said John Paul, CEO of Spiral Internet.

“It’ll be a game changer,” Paul added.

Supporters of the gigabit network say it will bring a near-instantaneous connection to residents and businesses in Nevada County. It’s a speed the Bay Area lacks, and people like Paul are hopeful it will help lure businesses here.

“Once the word gets out, businesses are going to look at our area as a place for satellite offices or R&D offices,” Paul said.

The company intends to use potential customers to build its subscriber base.

Spiral has created a program to get more people signed up for the new service. The company is looking for “Neighborhood Champions” to draw them in.

Paul’s company already has over 70 people who have volunteered to sign up their neighbors in Zone A. The neighborhoods that have the most people committed will get their connections built first.

Champions will attend one of two meetings later this month to learn more before starting their canvassing.

Spiral will direct people in December to its website for sign-ups.

Anyone interested in becoming a champion and attending one of the meetings should contact Spiral Internet at 530-478-9822, extension 203, or email fiber@spiral.com.

The high-speed internet project, in the works for years, received $16.7 million late last year in state funds. Those funds provide 60 percent of the money needed; the remaining 40 percent comes from private investment.

Paul said he’d like to again receive state funding for Zones B and C. Construction on those zones, not yet scheduled, could begin at the same time.

To contact Staff Writer Alan Riquelmy, email ariquelmy@theunion.com or call 530-477-4239.

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