Gonzales mayor makes the case for Salinas Valley broadband

Maria Orosco addresses the CPUC yesterday.

Gonzales mayor Maria Orosco and city manager Rene Mendez spoke on behalf of their community, the Salinas Valley and the entire central coast region yesterday, as they urged the California Public Utilities Commission to approve an $11 million grant to build a fiber optic broadband backbone system.

Mayor Orosco spoke to the Salinas Valley’s need for twenty-first century broadband infrastructure and the benefits it would bring…

Good morning, my name is Maria Orosco, mayor of the City of Gonzales. I’m also here to ask for your support for the broadband project. Broadband is as vital to our community as water is to our agricultural economy in the Salinas Valley.

This project will bring jobs and a better life to hundreds and thousands of our residents.

Students now cannot do their homework, parents do not have access to services when they have to access the Internet for these services. It makes it challenging and difficult. Without broadband in our communities it will certainly make it more challenging for many of our residents. Businesses in Gonzales are also faced with the challenge of not being able to have certain services that they need, without broadband. So these are some of the things that are a necessity for us in our communities, and we encourage you to approve the funding that is being requested today. Thank you.

Commissioners were generally supportive of the grant, and acknowledged both the needs of the Salinas Valley and the benefits the project would bring. But they delayed a vote on the project until 10 April 2014, in order to take a second look at the numbers.