Broadband forum examines benefits of improved internet

Michael Ort of California Broadband Cooperative is the key note speaker.

Michael Ort of California Broadband Cooperative is the key note speaker.

Mammoth Lakes already has more bandwidth for some internet service, thanks to the completion of Digital 395 in town. Other communities will benefit too as construction moves toward completion. Today in Bishop, officials from all over the Eastern Sierra planned to sit down and talk about broadband.

The Eastern Sierra Connect Regional Broadband Consortium planned to host a forum at the fairgrounds. The event was scheduled to start at 8am. Michael Ort of California Broadband Cooperative, the owner of Digital 395, was asked to be the keynote speaker. He planned to talk about the vision and value of the project which recently gained $10 million more from the State to wrap things up.

Also scheduled to speak about the impacts and opportunities of regional broadband were Inyo Supervisor Linda Arcularius; Bishop Public Works Director Dave Grah; Deanna Campbell of Cerro Coso College; Inyo Superintendent of Schools Terry McAteer; Inyo Library Director Nancy Masters; Susie Cisneros of Bishop Paiute Headstart; and Nate Greenberg, Mono County IT Director.

Service providers like Suddenlink and were asked to talk about their side of the subject and local business owners were also asked to participate. Inyo County Administrator Kevin Carunchio planned to tackle broadband and economic development in our region.

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25 Responses to Broadband forum examines benefits of improved internet

  1. chris September 21, 2013 at 7:26 pm #

    Meanwhile, Starlite was completely excluded from the “benefits” of Digital 395. I’m willing to bet there is at least one home-based business here, as well as others who would appreciate the opportunity to connect to something other than satellite service.

    • george October 4, 2013 at 8:38 am #

      Is the section California Broadband Cooperative calls I104901 and shows on their map as “engineering complete” the section for the Starlite area?

  2. George September 21, 2013 at 8:51 am #

    “There’s still a lot of work to be done in order to extend middle mile bandwidth to businesses and residents via local Internet service providers – Digital 395 is a solely a wholesaler.


  3. SDLconnie September 20, 2013 at 2:31 pm #

    Hi- My name is Connie and I am with Suddenlink. If you have any questions regarding our services, please feel free to email me at connie-AT-suddenlink-DOT-com. Thanks!

    • George September 21, 2013 at 8:55 am #

      How about a date for the speed increase in Bishop area. Will it be this year?

    • Kimberly Traynor September 25, 2013 at 4:20 pm #

      Connie – how long before we see our speeds increase here in bishop?

  4. Philip Anaya September 20, 2013 at 6:39 am #

    Verizon officials did not present any information at the event that I saw. We did hear that Verizon was talking to Digital 395 about leasing some bandwidth. A. Schat was there as a presenter and was asked about new areas. He said that Schatnet would be focusing on upgrading all of their existing services first.
    Here’s a tweet from the event about Sudden Link

  5. Tim Traynor September 19, 2013 at 9:44 pm #

    What about Schatnet service in Lee Vining,Bridgeport etc.?

    • Michael D. September 20, 2013 at 11:41 am # has been serving Lee Vining, Bridgeport, and other outlying areas in that vicinity for some time, and they’ll be offering faster speeds to these customers as soon as they connect to the fiber project.

      • Kimberly Traynor September 25, 2013 at 4:19 pm #

        Yes, but any idea how long before they will be doing that?

  6. Philip Anaya September 19, 2013 at 6:12 pm #

    The Eastern Sierra Connect Regional Broadband Consortium put on an excellent event today and by the way the food was also excellent. Coffee, tea and all sorts of baked goods from Great Basin Bakery in the morning and lunch from Astorga’s…… so good!
    It was reported that Mammoth Lakes has already been getting the benefit of Digital 395 from the completed link to the north and the link to Bishop from Barstow from the south had also been actvated although they are still in the beginning of testing. The last remaining bit of connection between Mammoth south to Bishop just might be completed within a week and then maybe ,not official some of the ISP’s in Bishop might get their subscribers connected up sometine soon there after maybe the end of the following week . Praxis by the way continued to work on the completion of Digital 395 all this time that the California PUC was approving and funding the added expenses. Most of the information that I heard today was good news from the Project, great news for the Eastern Sierra .

    • MK September 19, 2013 at 6:55 pm #

      Yes Philip is correct. There is no conspiracy here. So anyone with suddenlink or can expect speeds to increase very soon. I don’t know what Verizon’s plan is as they have their own Fiber and they performed upgrades themselves. I would gather that as customers in Mammoth and other areas move away from Verizon that will leave more bandwidth for the remaining customer base of Verizon.

      We also should see more and more 4G LTE cellular sites as the upgrades to them go live.

      This is very good news for the Eastern Sierra.

      FYI those that wish to get copper wire land line DSL in Swall Meadows can sign up as Verizon has gone live there too.

    • Ken Warner September 19, 2013 at 7:30 pm #

      Did you hear anything about what Verizon is going to do for it’s DSL customers? I don’t want to change ISP’s That a big hassle. Change all those email addresses and all the other stuff that uses email as an ID etc.

      So what did you hear about Verizon’s DSL customers — if anything?

      • Desert Tortoise September 20, 2013 at 9:07 am #

        If you use Outlook or gmail, for example, changing ISPs has no effect on your internet address, and both are free.

        • Ken Warner September 20, 2013 at 12:58 pm #

          Don’t use Outlook or gmail.

          • Desert Tortoise September 21, 2013 at 3:31 pm #

            I was implying you could open an e-mail account with either and from here on out not have to worry about changing e-mail addresses if you changed ISPs. I have had one of my e-mail addresses for twenty years, through five moves in three counties and untold ISPs. It is not hard to do, and it’s free.

          • Ken Warner September 21, 2013 at 5:19 pm #

            Sounds like a good idea. I should have done it before I went to Verizon. Now I kind of stuck — I think.

            Will those services let me keep my current email address?

      • Observer September 20, 2013 at 11:12 am #

        The only mention of Verizon at the conference was that in the past 60 days they have begun talking with Digital 395 about leasing conduit or fibers. Maybe Verizon will try to remain competitive, and if they do it will require better speeds, as competitors like Suddenlink are increasing speeds in TOML by 4 to 10 times for the same price.

  7. Conor September 19, 2013 at 2:24 pm #

    I received a letter from Suddenlink saying the internet speed around Bishop would be increased in mid July. It sounds to me like everyone involved in this project has dropped the ball on meeting deadlines. It’s interesting how they’ve received another $10 million to finish the project. You have to wonder if they’re holding out for more money and that’s the reason why they never met the mid July deadline. Either way, they need to stop talking about it and finish it up. There’s absolutely no excuse why places like Mammoth and Bishop have some of the slowest internet speeds in the country. It’s 2013, not 1997.

    • RandyK September 19, 2013 at 4:38 pm #

      There was a good reason why Bishop and Mammoth could not get fast internet – it cost $110 million and there was no commercial case for putting in the fiber. Thank President Obama for the foresight to obtain stimulus funds and then spend them where they could provide such benefit for this rural area (and the country). That fiber could provide a whole new future for this area. The folks who put in the fiber had to pay $20 million to do environmental studies to put a foot wide trench along a road right-of-way. No wonder they ran out of money. Maybe there’s a smarter way.

      • Ken Warner September 19, 2013 at 7:25 pm #

        Hit the nail on the head. With high speed internet available, small startups in the information industry can move here. It’s a lot cheaper in the Owens Valley than it is in the Silicon Valley. And techies like the outdoors. I know because I used to be one. Many of them would move here in a heartbeat if they could work here. I know I tried for years to figure out how to live here. The closest I came was a job at OVRO but I didn”t think I’d fit there.

        The high speed internet is the best thing that has happened to the Owens Valley since 395 was built.

        • George September 21, 2013 at 9:00 am #

          “The high speed internet is the best thing that has happened to the Owens Valley since 395 was built.”

          Might change the wording to “will probably be the best thing”

    • George September 21, 2013 at 9:07 am #

      I think it was in July that someone from Suddenlink came to our house wanting to upsell us to 30 Mbps because the project was finished. The 15 Mbps would now be the basic service. Joke…

  8. Reality Check September 18, 2013 at 9:07 pm #

    So when does it get turned on in Bishop?


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