After many months of watching crews work both north and south on Hwy. 395, the crews recently started working very close to home. They have been working inward from Hwy. 395 on Sawmill Road and were drilling very close to Hwy. 203 near McDonalds in the last week. This makes sense because Sawmill Road is mostly dirt and can be conventionally trenched. At first I thought they were bringing the fiber optic line into Mammoth via Sawmill. But after talking to one of the local “last mile” officials I was corrected. This is actually the line exiting Mammoth and heading north to reconnect with line laid north of the 395/Scenic Loop intersection. If you look at the map you can see why this makes sense; the distance is about the same but trenching through a dirt road in the middle of the forest is easier than the work they have had to do right along the highway. But why I was confused is because the line from the Hwy. 395 and 203 intersection (think geothermal plant) hasn’t been started. That will be one of the last legs completed. Meanwhile, the officials I spoke to were simply amazed at the scope of this project; laying fiber optic line from Barstow to Carson City. Some believe it is an even bigger project than the construction of the L.A. Aqueduct. The contractor has had to deal with dozens of government agencies (oh, what fun). The cable work has had to deal with many culturally and environmentally sensitive areas. The fiber optic IS already functioning in the Barstow to Ridgecrest segment. Once the line is completed and operating through the Mammoth area the public safety entities (police, fire, hospital) will be the first to have it and then the government agencies. Then it is up to the local providers, Suddenlink, Verizon, Schat, etc., to beef-up the local service. Wireless service of all kinds should be greatly improved. Ultimately, this should help both real estate and tourism. Many people are just so dependent upon a quality Internet connection for their livelihood. It could even make Mammoth a new playground for Silicon Valley types. We better make room for all their private jets…..
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