Truckee gets in on race for Google fiber-optic trial |

Truckee gets in on race for Google fiber-optic trial

Truckee has joined other towns nationwide pursuing Google to install fiber-optic Internet, touted to be 100 times faster than anything used today.

Google asked local governments and residents to express their desire to participate in a fiber-optic trial and provide information about their communities on Feb. 10, generating a lot of interest across the nation. Google’s Web site says it will announce its selections sometime this year, with the goal of experimenting with faster Internet.

Last week, Truckee Town Council approved the application, which is due today.

“I think what sets us apart is our infrastructure is already in place, based on the (Truckee Donner Public Utility District’s) work, and the availability of the fiber-optic line between Sacramento and Reno,” said Town Manager Tony Lashbrook.

The utility district had worked to install conduit and fiber-optic lines throughout the town to provide high-speed Internet a few years back, when the parent company of then-Cebridge Connections, now Suddenlink Communications, sued the district, said Steven Poncelet, public information and conservation manager for the district. The district won the suit and an appeal, but because of the delay and cost of litigation, decided to stop the project and focus on water and power.

That left the district with large lengths of line, unused, that could potentially be used in the Google project, Lashbrook said.

The district has 82 miles of broadband conduit, including 15 miles of “transmission” conduit along the main Salt Lake City to Sacramento route as it runs through Truckee, 133 miles of overhead distribution lines and 186 miles of overhead secondary service drops, and has pole space or conduit near every home or business in Truckee.

“We are supportive of the town’s efforts to bring additional broadband resources to our community and are actively seeking opportunities to maximize the value to our ratepayers…” said general manager Michael Holley.

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