Digital 395 in Mammoth complete

The Digital 395 project, promising broadband Internet speeds to Mammoth, is a done deal.

One year to the day after Praxis Associates put their first shovel in the ground, Digital 395 became a reality on Tuesday, Aug. 13, when testing on the digital links between Reno and Mammoth was completed.

“We now have the capacity to deliver broadband into Mammoth,” said an obviously elated Michael Ort, the president of the fiber-optic company.

“We’ve tested the network, and it delivers broadband from Reno to Mammoth. We’re in the process now of finalizing a lot of the connections to many of the various buildings in the community.”

As of Tuesday, Ort said, Mammoth’s biggest Internet and digital media company, Suddenlink, began flipping switches on the so-called “last mile” of the project.

“Suddenlink is working right now on taking our bandwidth and putting it onto their network for end-users, for their customers,” Ort said.

Current customers of Suddenlink will not get an “A-ha! Moment” announcement, according to both Ort and Suddenlink representatives.

Rather, customers will connect to the Internet as usual and find bandwidth speeds up to 10 times faster than usual.

Suddenlink officials have said there will not be an additional charge for the increase in bandwidth speed, although customers will be able to add on up to five times more bandwidth for a charge.

The final piece to the Praxis puzzle is in delivering high-speed access to Bishop. Currently, the project is hung up in a permitting discussion with the Inyo National Forest, over land near the Crowley Lake dam.

But in Mammoth, the fiber-optic strands are in the ground, fired up, and ready to go.

“They (Suddenlink) have to work a special circuit from another location and get that worked out,” Ort said, “but certainly I would expect that all the customers would be seeing increased service on their TVs and Internet connections at home.

“They’ll see an instant increase at some point,” he said.