MORONGO BASIN MAC HEARS THE CHALLENGES OF RURAL BROADBAND

MORONGO BASIN MAC HEARS THE CHALLENGES OF RURAL BROADBAND

The Morongo Basin Municipal Advisory Council discussed challenges of internet connectivity in rural areas at its meeting last night. Here with the story is reporter Tanisha Cureton…

In last night’s meeting of the MAC, Blake Baxter said anywhere between 34 percent to 55 percent of all rural households in the U.S. lack proper broadband internet access, where some have slow or no access at all. To determine if broadband access is available in your neighborhood, visit www.broadbandmap.ca.gov. If you’re not getting service, you can help by completing surveys over the next six months. Since the state and federal coverage maps help determine eligibility for grants, this will also help Internet providers who apply for grants to provide coverage.

Back in August 2017, the Board of Supervisors approved the Renewable Energy and Conservation Element, but, at the same time, it eliminated section 4.10 from the RECE. Section 4.10 prohibited development of renewable energy projects in rural areas such as the Morongo Basin, and prohibited these renewable energy projects in communities that had an existing community plan that banned them. Section 4.10 also established exclusion areas for renewable energy projects. Councilmember Pat Flanagan urged residents to go to the county government center in Joshua Tree today and make their feelings known about the RECE to the Board of Supervisors during its 10 a.m. meeting. In addition, there will be a scoping meeting about the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan at 6 p.m. Thursday, March 1, at the Joshua Tree Community Center.

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