Carbajal, U.S. Department of Commerce Announce $2.8 Million Investment to Expand Broadband Access in Paso Robles

Santa Barbara, CA – Today, Representative Salud Carbajal applauded U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo’s announcement that the Commerce Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $2.8 million grant to the City of Paso Robles, California, to install fiber optic cable to expand broadband access and increase reliability. This EDA project will be matched with $707,489 in local funds.

“Millions of rural Americans are held back by slow broadband or a complete lack of access, and my district is no exception. Reliable broadband allows our economy to grow, expands access to online health and learning opportunities, and improves quality of life,” said Congressman Salud Carbajal (CA-24). “I’m grateful the U.S. Department of Commerce is investing $2.8 million to help the City of Paso Robles on the Central Coast install fiber optic cables that will improve and expand broadband connectivity. This is a huge step to ensure every member of our community has what they need to succeed in the 21st century.”

“The City of Paso Robles is grateful and excited about this grant. Expanding broadband access is vital to our community fabric, critical for education, and a significant tool for economic development,” said Paso Robles Mayor Steve Martin.

“President Biden is committed to expanding broadband access throughout the country, especially in rural and underserved communities,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo. “This EDA investment in Paso Robles makes the city more competitive for business and builds resiliency to future economic disruptions.”

“EDA is pleased to support the city of Paso Robles in its efforts to expand broadband access to attract and retain business,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo. “This project will support the installation of approximately 11,500 feet of new fiber optic cable in the city’s existing underground conduit, and the installation of 52,500 feet of additional fiber optic cable in a new underground conduit to support the needs of the local business community.”

“This investment is a reflection of our shared commitment to bring California’s economy roaring back,” said Governor Gavin Newsom. “The funds will benefit small business in Paso Robles and the community by expanding broadband access, leading to a stronger, more resilient local economy for all.”

Project Background:
This investment supports the City of Paso Robles with the installment of a city-wide fiber optic broadband network to provide more complete coverage in San Luis Obispo County. The project will support the economic capacity of small business enterprises to operate more efficiently and consist of the installation of approximately 11,500 feet of new fiber optic cable in the City’s existing 2-inch underground conduit, and the installation of approximately 52,500 feet of new fiber optic cable in new 2-inch underground conduit. 

The project is estimated to create 90 new jobs and, once completed, will create additional employment opportunities in sustainable industries and advance economic resiliency to an area that will be hit hard by the coming closure of the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant. Access to reliable broadband is vital to fulfilling the city’s interest in becoming a spaceport.

The mission of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation’s regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA invests in communities and supports regional collaboration in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.


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