CA’s Broadband Middle-Mile Network Gets a Boost

July 31, 2023 – The California Department of Technology (CDT) finalized an agreement with Siskiyou Telephone Company (Siskiyou Tel) to construct 163 miles of fiber optic cable as part of California’s statewide Middle-Mile Broadband Initiative. CDT secured a $52 million contract with Siskiyou Tel to build the 163 miles of high-speed, 288-fiber-count optical cable and install the necessary infrastructure.

The project route begins in Humboldt County’s unincorporated community, Orleans, and stretches approximately 90 miles through Siskiyou County, northeast to Yreka, and approximately 70 miles west to Happy Camp. Adding 163 miles of fiber optic cable will extend high-speed broadband to approximately 3,500 unserved households in Northern California. The Broadband Middle-Mile Initiative ensures equitable access to the digital resources necessary for modern life, such as online education, telemedicine, and remote work opportunities.

This step towards digital inclusivity is essential to foster social and economic growth in underserved communities. CDT will be responsible for maintenance and operation after Siskiyou Tel completes construction. Work will begin in May 2024 and conclude by December 2026.