Sorry, you need to enable JavaScript to visit this website.

Why Broadband Matters

    Don’t we already have the Internet in Riverside County?

    While internet access is generally available in Riverside County, access to reliable, high-speed internet varies greatly from community to community. To promote the overall well-being of the County, RivcoConnect is dedicated to eliminating these digital disparities.

    Why does internet speed matter?

    High-speed internet is important because it saves time and money, creates jobs and business opportunities, and facilitates learning opportunities for youth and adults. Having access to high-speed internet also helps us connect to one another, building a stronger, more free society. That's why the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) broadband capability requires consumers to have access to actual download speeds of at least 25 Mbps (megabits per second) and actual upload speeds of at least 3 Mbps.

    To get a better idea of how much internet speed affects your daily life, check out the infographic here

    How fast is the internet in Riverside County today?

    Internet quality and availability are widely inconsistent throughout Riverside County. In many communities, approximately 80% of households have internet access with less than 25 Mbps upload and 3 Mbps download, according to California's Interactive Broadband MapIn contrast, other communities enjoy internet access in excess of 300 Mbps.

    While these disparities in internet speed can occur from region to region, they can also occur within the same region of the County. Neighboring communities — even in some of Riverside's major urban regions — may experience tremendous differences in internet speed and access.

    How can I check to see how fast the internet is where I live?

    There are several applications you can download to your smartphone, tablet or computer that will perform ping and data tests. We currently recommend Speedtest by Ookla, which is available for Apple, Android and Windows devices. 

    Is broadband internet the same thing as high-speed internet?

    The terms are often used interchangeably. According to the federal government

    • Broadband in telecommunication refers to a wide bandwidth that can transport multiple signals over a “broad” range of frequencies and support different internet traffic types, allowing multiple data streams to be sent at once.
    • High-speed is a generic term referring to faster-than-average internet access with the ability to connect multiple devices simultaneously to allow streaming and access to modern applications.

    RivcoConnect generally uses the term broadband when talking about the broadband infrastructure we are building to ensure all Riverside residents and businesses have access to high-speed internet service.

    What is broadband infrastructure?

    In addition to the availability of internet service providers in the area, access to high-speed internet relies on building, connecting, and maintaining the physical infrastructure of the internet — fiber optic or copper wiring, cables, servers, routers, network switches, wireless towers, and more. Expanding broadband infrastructure involves a complex set of activities, such as resolving right-of-way issues, addressing co-location policies, securing permits and easements, attaching wires and other equipment to poles, and siting wireless facilities.

    About RivcoConnect

    What is RivcoConnect?

    RivcoConnect is a Riverside County initiative that seeks to remove the barriers that obstruct service providers from building out an improved communications infrastructure geared toward 21st-century capabilities.  One of RivcoConnect’s goals is that this service be provided to all residents at an affordable cost, one that allows our citizens to access high-speed connections to information, entertainment, health care, government services, employment opportunities, and educational growth.

    RivcoConnect is supported by the Riverside County Board of Supervisors, and Executive Office and led by Riverside County Information Technology (RCIT)

    How is RivcoConnect working to improve internet access in Riverside County?

    RivcoConnect is actively promoting the growth and development of an extensive broadband internet infrastructure throughout Riverside County, with a minimum broadband speed of 1 gigabit per second (GPS) for all residents and businesses within the urban, suburban and rural communities in our region. RivcoConnect activities include:

    • Promoting private-sector partnerships to deliver broadband services throughout the County
    • Developing and updating the County's local broadband needs assessment, communications plan, and buildout plan
    • Identifying grant and funding opportunities for broadband development

    We are also working to ensure all Riverside County residents have broadband internet at an affordable cost. That's why RivcoConnect is prioritizing outreach and assistance activities that help eligible Riverside households enroll in the Affordable Connectivity Program.

    Who is taking part in RivcoConnect?

    Building, maintaining and improving a high-quality and effective broadband infrastructure requires a range of complex activities, such as developing expedited permitting procedures, providing low-cost locations for broadband equipment and offering incentives such as anchor tenancy.

    Accomplishing these goals requires the active engagement of the County — including agencies such as Economic Development, Transportation & Land Management and a variety of County departments — as well as the 28 incorporated cities, 40 unincorporated population centers, and 12 tribal communities that call Riverside County home. RivcoConnect is also partnering with service providers who will join us in ensuring Riverside County becomes the leader in broadband internet service.

    Are Riverside County taxpayers paying for the infrastructure?

    No. Riverside County residents will not be responsible for paying for or maintaining the infrastructure and services. RivcoConnect’s principal goal is to clear the way for the private sector to both build the network and operate ongoing broadband service.

    Who will own and operate the new broadband service?

    Our goal is to establish the most effective ownership and operation model that will provide the most value for both Riverside County's residents and all partners engaged in this initiative. Such a model might involve one or more parties assuming a range of roles, such as:

    • A single service provider will build out the broadband network and provide internet throughout the County
    • A collective of private entities where one entity will be responsible for building out the infrastructure while others will be responsible for operations and maintenance on a regional basis.

    At this time, this model has not yet been determined.

    Getting Broadband Internet Service

    Will this new internet service be available in my neighborhood?

    We are currently working to ensure Riverside County communities experiencing the greatest digital disparities are prioritized for access to the new service.

    How fast will internet service be?

    We’re looking for nothing short of Gbps service, with speeds increasing with technology.

    How much will this internet service cost?

    At this time, the monthly cost of the new internet service is still undetermined. We're exploring a range of pricing strategies that emphasize affordability for all County residents. For example, one such pricing strategy is modeled after Google Fiber, which offers residential service starting at 1 Gbps for $70 per month and the Gbps business class fiber at $500 per month.

    Will the broadband service mean fiber in everyone’s home?

    We do not expect the broadband buildout to result in fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) in all homes. In building out Riverside's broadband infrastructure, we believe it's important to prioritize speed over the mode of transmission. In all likelihood, the new service will feature a hybrid network of internet delivery, comprised of FTTP in some areas, Ethernet over Copper (EoC) wherever possible, and even some wireless coverage in others. Although fiber will always be preferred when practicable, we also need to keep in mind that this must be built out for the future — not just today, but for coming generations.

    Commonly Used Terms

    Internet: The network of computers, servers and other devices that are connected to each other.

    World Wide Web: The collection of web pages that are accessible on the internet.

    Broadband: The technology system you use to connect to the internet. Broadband internet allows data transmissions to be transported back and forth between your home and the wider world. And because the bandwidth used is wide, broadband allows multiple signals at once, making it quicker than a non-Broadband connection. Broadband includes several high-speed transmission technologies such as Digital Subscriber Line (DSL), Cable Modem, Fiber, Wireless, Satellite and Broadband over Powerlines (BPL).

    Wi-Fi: The wireless connection to the internet that’s shared by all devices in a household or other setting. In your home, Wi-Fi allows your devices to remain connected to your router, which means that the internet is ready and waiting whenever you want to use it.

    FTTP: Fiber to the premises (FTTP) refers to equipment used in fiber access deployments where fibers extend all the way to the end-user premises, and the equipment is designed and optimized for use in residential applications.

    HTTPS: Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) is a protocol that secures communication and data transfer between a user's web browser and a website. HTTPS is the secure version of HTTP. The protocol protects users against eavesdroppers and man-in-the-middle (MitM) attacks. When visiting a website that requires login credentials or involved financial transactions it is important that the website uses HTTPs.