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Race Communications leases Nevada County land for high-speed internet project

Race Communications, the business bringing the gigabit Bright Fiber high-speed internet network to Nevada County, has taken the first few steps toward starting its project.

The Bay Area company has signed a lease for about 4,000 square feet of space at the Nevada County Airport, 13083 John Bauer Ave. It will install a modular building at the site — a point of presence for Race where it can have equipment necessary for the network, said Stephen Monaghan, the county’s chief information officer.

“They needed a place to drop that in their project footprint,” Monaghan added. “They were anxious to get this lease done.”

The agreement calls for a five-year lease starting at $12,000 a year, with 2% increases each year. That lease will be followed by four five-year terms, unless terminated.

Kevin Edwards, the airport’s manager, said he received the signed lease agreement from Race on Monday. He hopes it’ll install the building soon, but doesn’t know the timeline.

“At this time, there is no update on the building other than that we received formal approval for us to lease the space for our point of presence,” said Race official Ally Harris in an email.

There are almost 2,000 homes in the service area along Highway 174. In a January town hall officials said the project’s completion was set for May 2020.

Plans for the high-speed network have existed for years. The December 2015 award of a $16 million state grant to Spiral Internet was viewed as key to its completion. However, Spiral Internet couldn’t secure the necessary private funding. That led to the sale of Bright Fiber to Race. The grant was attached to the sale.

Spiral Internet — which provides hosting, email and DSL resale services — spun off in the sale.

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


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