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Spiral Internet plans for summer groundbreaking on high-speed project

Spiral Internet plans to begin construction this summer on the infrastructure for its gigabit, high-speed connection after clearing financial and bureaucratic hurdles.

The Nevada County company this month secured an exemption from the California Environmental Quality Act, which enables it to proceed to the design and permitting stages, said John Paul, co-founder and CEO of Spiral Internet.

Securing almost $12 million in private funding, done weeks ago, was the second hurdle the business jumped, Paul added.

The remaining project costs, almost $17 million, come from state funds.

“All the obstacles that might have been in the way are gone,” he said.

The hurdles Spiral has jumped are for the first of three project stages. The first stage encompasses a 26-square-mile area that includes about 2,900 homes and 340 businesses around Highway 174 and Dog Bar Road.

“That’s where we’re going to start building,” Paul told attendees at last week’s summit of the Nevada County Economic Resource Council. “We’re going to have the first gigabit community in California.”

The first homes could be online by late fall, and the entire first stage complete two years after breaking ground.

Paul described a gigabit internet connection as instantaneous with delays being nonexistent. Someone could download a two-hour, high-definition movie in under five seconds.

Spiral is selecting its first neighborhoods to connect in its initial stage based off the number of customers who sign up and place a deposit. People can register at http://www.spiral.com/fiber.

The monthly cost of the service is $119.

Paul said he’d like all three service areas, which include some 12,000 homes, connected to the high-speed service within five years.

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

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