High-speed Internet goes live in Quincy

Debra Moore
Staff Writer

High-speed Internet is here.

After years of planning and months of trenching, the new fiber optic line runs through Quincy. And Plumas District Hospital, Feather River College and the Plumas County Office of Education are the first to benefit.

“We are live with it,” said Brenda Compton, the hospital’s information technology director. “We started with the clinic product (the new electronic medical records system) and it is much more responsive.”

Compton said that the hospital soon would be transitioning its other Internet-based services to fiber optics.

“I’m really, really pleased,” Compton said.

Derek Lerch, FRC’s dean of instruction, said that the college “lit up” Sept. 12, but expected it to be 25 times faster this week.

About Fiber Optics
The following information was taken from the Plumas-Sierra Telecommunications website:
Why are the fiber-optic systems revolutionizing telecommunications?
Compared to conventional metal copper wire, optical fibers are:
Less expensive — Several miles of optical cable can be made cheaper than equivalent lengths of copper wire.
Thinner — Optical fibers can be drawn to smaller diameters than copper wire.
Higher carrying capacity — Because optical fibers are thinner than copper wires, more fibers than copper wires can be bundled into a cable of a given diameter. This allows more phone lines to go over the same cable or more channels to come through the cable into a cable TV box.
Less signal degradation — The loss of signal in optical fiber is less than in copper wire.
Light signals — Unlike electrical signals in copper wires, light signals from one fiber do not interfere with those of other fibers in the same cable. This means clearer phone conversations or TV reception.
Low power — Because signals in optical fibers degrade less, lower power transmitters can be used instead of the high-voltage electrical transmitters needed for copper wire.
Digital signals — Optical fibers are ideally suited for carrying digital information, which is especially useful in computer networks.
Non-flammable — Because no electricity is passed through optical fibers, there is no fire hazard.
Lightweight — An optical cable weighs less than a comparable copper wire cable. Fiber-optic cables take up less space in the ground.


The term “lit up” or “light up” is used when discussing fiber optics, because the technology uses light to transmit.

Russ Selken, who is working on the system for the Plumas County Office of Education, said that the installation “is a work in progress,” but he is excited about its potential, not only for the office, but for the school sites.

A federal grant enabled Plumas-Sierra Telecommunications to extend its fiber optic network from Reno to Susanville to Quincy.

Bob Marshall, general manager of parent company Plumas-Sierra Rural Electric Cooperative, said that the next step is to provide service to county government buildings, community hubs and large businesses.

Residential access will follow, but will be provided in groups — such as blocks of homes — or entire community services districts, such as Whitehawk near Clio.

In Susanville, where access became available sooner, Zito Media is providing high-speed service for its cable television and Internet customers. The group also partnered with Plumas-Sierra to make the Memorial Hall a hotspot for residents.

Businesses and resident groups interested in gaining access to the high-speed service can call Joe Okoneski, sales manager for the telecommunications division, at 832-42146 or go to

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