Pacific Premier Bank Grant Funds EconAlliance for North County Broadband Needs Assessments and “Last Mile Connectivity Analysis”

Pacific Premier Bank (PPG) has funded EconAlliance with a 2021-2022 $25,000 grant to undertake new activities in its effort to enhance broadband in Northern Santa Barbara County. This grant funds EconAlliance’s undertaking an assessment of broadband needs for organizations and residents, along with identifying anchor institutions in the communities of Los Alamos, Cuyama, and Orcutt. This funding goes toward a follow-on effort being undertaken through a previous grant that was awarded to EconAlliance by PPG to study broadband needs of Santa Maria, Guadalupe, and Lompoc, an effort with surveys and interviews that is currently underway.

In addition to the needs assessment and anchor institution work, this grant provides partial funding for EconAlliance to engage and oversee telecom consultants to perform a “Last Mile Connectivity Analysis” for Northern Santa Barbara County. This portion of the grants funding will be a collaborative effort with the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians, with Tribal broadband funding also providing funding for the Analysis. The “Last Mile” element provides critical analysis for community decision-making, studies population clusters using GIS tools, and fits them with potential network architectures(e.g. Fiber-to-the-Home (FTFH), Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) and point to point ethernet) to better understand cost and viability of last mile connectivity.

Northern Santa Barbara County Fiber Ring

EconAlliance identified broadband as a critical factor in Northern Santa Barbara County economic vitality in its earliest conversations with industries and economic stakeholders. The organization has been serving as an area liaison to the tri-county Broadband Consortium Pacific Coast for several years. In 2020, Broadband Advisory Group lead Chris Chirgwin of Lanspeed and EconAlliance began promoting the concept of a Northern Santa Barbara County Fiber Ring to provide middle-mile connectivity to North County, enhance access to broadband and encourage provider investment. The organization has been seeking stakeholder, policymaker and funding support for the Fiber Ring ever since.

Additionally, EconAlliance and the Broadband Consortium Pacific Coast were tapped by the Santa Ynez Chumash to assist with the Tribe’s broadband strategy development, analyzing the potential of integrating Chumash broadband into the concept of the North County Fiber Ring in 2020. EconAlliance also is a partner with the Broadband Consortium Pacific Coast and REACH in an effort to enhance broadband across the tri-county area.

About EconAlliance

EconAlliance is a cross-industry alliance that fosters awareness, advocacy, support and appreciation for Northern Santa Barbara County industries and communities. A 501c3 nonprofit organization, it promotes industry understanding, entrepreneurship and innovation, and the development of well-paying jobs, a highly skilled workforce and worker opportunity.

About Pacific Premier Bank

Pacific Premier Bancorp, Inc. (Nasdaq: PPBI) is the parent company of Pacific Premier Bank, a California based commercial bank focused on serving small, middle-market, and corporate businesses throughout the western United States in major metropolitan markets in California, Washington, Oregon, Arizona, and Nevada. Founded in 1983, Pacific Premier Bank has grown to become one of the largest banks headquartered in the western region of the United States, with $21 billion in total assets. Pacific Premier Bank provides banking products and services, including deposit accounts, digital banking, and treasury management services, to businesses, professionals, entrepreneurs, real estate investors, and nonprofit organizations.