Cindy Sage: Underground fiber optic system the most secure, private and reliable | TheUnion.com

Cindy Sage: Underground fiber optic system the most secure, private and reliable

Cindy Sage
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Regarding Alan Riquelmy's story in The Union of July 6, entitled, "Tweaks Made to Bright Fiber Plan," this is more than a tweak in the project.

Thanks to Riquelmy for an otherwise detailed article, which allows people to quickly respond to the big questions he does not cover.

The stock purchase should be denied by the California Public Utilities Commission. Consumers in Nevada County will be hurt if this action is approved. Fiber optic is undergrounded, and the technology is far superior to wireless in speed, reliability, preventing surveillance and protecting your privacy.

Fiber optic, which was approved (with broad consumer support and public grant funding) should not be turned overnight into to a project that depends on heavy telecommunications wires and boxes mounted on already overloaded power poles in fire-prone areas.

Allowing a stock sale from Bright Fiber to Race simply enriches a company which publicly states that wireless is quicker and cheaper for them.

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Grant funding from public funds of more than $16 million was given to Bright Fiber to facilitate high-speed internet service with underground fiber optic system, which is the most secure, private and reliable infrastructure for delivering high-speed internet services to consumers.

What is proposed by Race Communications maximizes their profitability by switching to wireless to be built on existing public power pole infrastructure. But this wireless component introduces significant privacy, security, and reliability problems for internet connections.

Worse, overburdened power poles create serious fire hazards and we cannot depend on wireless infrastructure to survive fires. California has experienced the terrible consequence of wildland fires in Napa and Sonoma counties where above-ground wireless communications burned up (77 cell towers and countless power poles with wireless infrastructure).

The CPUC itself has fined SCE many millions of dollars for the Malibu fires, which were attributed to power poles overburdened by telecommunications. In areas like Nevada County, where homes are widely interspersed in oak woodland and conifer forested hills, the cost of a single wildfire would greatly outweigh any benefits of this proposal.

If Race Communications wants to buy Bright Fiber and install an all-underground system, that would be beneficial.

But the commission should not help Race cut corners on costs.

Allowing a stock sale from Bright Fiber to Race simply enriches a company which publicly states that wireless is quicker and cheaper for them.

It is not better for the public, nor the environment.

Thank you for your consideration.

Cindy Sage lives in Grass Valley.

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