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Sonora, CA — Internet providers throughout the region addressed the Tuolumne County Supervisors Tuesday about recent developments in expanding broadband services.

Michelle Shelton with the ATCAA Central Sierra Connect Project led the conversation, and said numerous local companies were stepping up to make sure that residents have access to high speed internet.

Some of the highlights:

-Mother Lode Internet has received a $2.9 million grant to help provide infrastructure to underserved regions. A second multi-million dollar application for underserved communities is pending and anticipating approval in the near future.

-Open Range Communications has been awarded Rural Development Funds to provide 4G broadband services to the Phoenix Lake area in Tuolumne County and the Ione area in Amador County.

-Golden State Cellular plans on expanding its current cellular network to provide 3G mobile broadband service to all five counties in the region. Deployment is expected in early 2010.

-ThrockWISP and REMnet are planning to expand wireless capabilities specifically to areas of the Mother Lode were terrain and geography pose major challenges.

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