When San Bernardino County needed to improve broadband service at Yucaipa and Prado regional parks, it reached for the stars and connected to Starlink for the first of many planned deployments to locations where traditional internet service is largely inaccessible.

Earlier this year, the Yucaipa Regional Park Starlink connection earned San Bernardino County one of 160 record-breaking National Association of Counties (NACo) Achievement Awards.

Prior to connecting to Starlink’s network, cellular coverage and high-speed internet at Yucaipa Regional Park and Prado Regional Park in Chino was extremely unreliable, and in some instances, unavailable.

“The lack of internet access and cell phone coverage at those parks presented many barriers to providing quality service to park guests,” said Board of Supervisors Chair and Third District Supervisor Dawn Rowe. “Without the necessary infrastructure to support a fixed internet circuit, we had to consider creative approaches to resolving this issue.”

In response, the county launched Starlink, which relies on thousands of satellites that orbit around the Earth to deliver high-speed internet to some of the most remote parts of the world. According to its website, Starlink provides satellite internet service to more than one million locations worldwide.

“I would like to express my deep gratitude to the Board of Supervisors for approving the installation of Starlink satellite internet,” said Regional Parks Director Beahta Davis. “This creative technology has strengthened park patrons experience while camping, attending events or enjoying other outdoor recreation activities.”

Overall, the Starlink project has benefitted the community by increasing access to high-speed internet and Wi-Fi calling. The plan is to continue to expand Starlink to other geographically challenged areas in the county.

“The Innovation and Technology Department is honored to be recognized for our efforts to increase access to fast and reliable broadband service through Starlink satellite internet,” said Chief Information Officer Lynn Fyhrlund. “Our goal is to continue to seek ways to enhance information technology and improve the quality of life in our communities. We greatly appreciate NACo for this special recognition.”

Each year, the NACo Achievement Awards program recognizes innovative county government programs in 18 categories ranging from arts, culture and historic preservation to volunteer management programs. The Starlink satellite-based internet deployment award is just one of 160 awards that San Bernardino County won in 2023, more than any other county in the nation for the second year in a row. For a complete list of awards, please visit NACo’s website.

Additional County Update News – December 15, 2023

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