Gigabit Project Update

We’ve been quiet here at Nevada County Connected, but Spiral’s gigabit fiber optic project has been steadily moving forward for the past three months. Before we break ground this fall, we’ve been compiling an exhaustive environmental report in the Zone A project area. This includes identifying and mapping both biological and historical assets. Given both our Gold Rush and native American histories, as well as our foothill water and plant diversity, there’s been a lot to map. The good news is that since we will be boring (yes, all underground) primarily along the edge of existing roads, our approval should move forward readily upon submittal.

Also, our new offices in the Nevada County Tech Center are being designed and the full team is expected to come aboard at summer’s end. Nick Katzman, Spiral’s Neighborhood Coordinator, is already scheduling Zone A homeowner’s and road association meetings. If you’d like to set one up, call Nick at 478-9822.

It’s an exciting time. Once we hit the dirt, they’ll be lots to report and these posts will be much more frequent. Stay tuned and thanks for your patience.

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Kansas City Gigabit City Summit Conference

Hello Nevada County! My name is Nick Katzman. I’m the new Neighborhood Coordinator for Spiral, and you’ll be hearing from me often here on our blog.

I recently had the pleasure of joining the Spiral management team on a trip to Kansas City where we attended the Gigabit City Summit. It was a 3 day long adventure of exploring the city and learning about current and emerging Gigabit Cities. We also had the opportunity to network with innovative teams like ours that are in various stages of building and implementing fiber optic networks all across the country.

Heavy fog and rain covered the city as people from across the country gathered in the Student Union at the University of Missouri, Kansas City. The top floor of that impressive building was abuzz with introductions as folks exchanged business cards and received conference itineraries.

Welcoming us to the conference were past and current Mayors of Kansas City, Missouri and Kansas City, Kansas who told us of the dramatic changes their communities have experienced since becoming the first Google fiber cities. The economic development of Kansas City was clear to us as we toured the bustling city streets. Tech startups and incubator projects established themselves among the commercial and residential districts; utilizing the tremendous bandwidth of Google Fiber. By the way, if you ever find yourself in Kansas City, you need to eat at Q39. It was hands-down the best barbecue I’ve ever tasted.

At the conference, I bounced between lecture halls and conference rooms searching for strategies on different ways to utilize the effectiveness of a fiber network on a community level. The Spiral team and I listened to a variety of city officials, engineers, lawyers, and project managers describing what it takes to successfully supervise a large scale fiber optic buildout. This information was important to the management team, but I was more intrigued by the presentations regarding how customers could use a gigabit connection and what tools could be made available to them.

One of the highlights for me was hearing from Alan Fitzpatrick, the co-founder of an organization that constructed a fiber optic network in Charlotte, North Carolina called Charlotte Hearts Gigabit. His company hosts regular classes on using electronic devices effectively and how to install and use important apps and software. They even hold hackathons on a regular basis during which computer programmers collaborate intensively on creating new software over a brief period of time.

I would love your feedback on whether Spiral should implement these kinds of classes and events locally. I encourage you to respond to this post and let me know if you think they would be worthwhile in Nevada County and if you would be interested in attending.

I picked up some great ideas from this informative conference which I plan to implement as we move towards initiating the first stages of our network build. If you have not already done so, please register at www.spiral.com/fiber to discover where your residence is located in relation to our coverage maps and also to receive email updates regarding our progress. As always, thank you for your support!

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Spiral’s 10th Anniversary

In the office, we quietly celebrated Spiral Internet’s 10th Anniversary last week. On May 1, 2006, NCCN (Nevada County Community Network) placed their customers in our hands. We were entrusted to take the goals of that organization and move it forward. Little did we know that it would take 10 years to accomplish. And we’ve only just begun.

We will be celebrating more publicly when we host the ground breaking of our gigabit 100% fiber optic network in the next few months. We’ll be posting more regularly here as our new staff comes on board, and we prepare to move to our new offices in the Nevada City Tech Center. Our 11th year is going to amazing. Stay tuned.

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