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The county sets its sights on broadband 

San Luis Obispo County supervisors should soon hear a presentation that—if all goes as planned—could get county residents downloading porn and cute-kitten videos faster than you can say megabit.

On Feb. 1, the county General Services Agency is scheduled to present county supervisors with information on beefing up the county’s broadband access, which—while better than the state average of five megabits per second—is still abysmal compared to the rest of the world. The United States ranks 25th in average broadband speeds, according to the Federal Communications Commission.

SLO County is also in the odd position of being home to a trans-Pacific communications hub in Morro Bay, but lacking high-speed connections such as fiber-optic lines for residents. According to a county staff report, fiber-optic connections are restricted to government and public-education uses in the county. And local providers don’t see enough customers in the area to warrant a large-scale investment here.

But there’s hope: Governments can encourage partnerships with private entities, according to the county staff report. One such partnership, known as a “dig policy,” would notify carriers when the county is digging trenches with the hope that carriers would lay fiber optics into the trench before it’s filled.

No action is scheduled for the item, but the report says the Feb. 1 meeting could serve as a jumping-off point to bring high-speed Internet to SLO County computers.

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