Press and News Releases



News Releases

Digital 395 nears completion
By Benett Kessler of Sierra Wave
October 23, 2013

The last cabling for the backbone of the Digital 395 project will go in next Thursday, according to Michael Ort of Praxis which is the builder of the project.


Ort said after the final splice next week, his crews will install cabling in Lone Pine and complete some community anchor hook-ups with final completion expected by Thanksgiving.


The $100 million federal and state funded project will make significant increases in bandwidth capacity for the area and create a bi- directional fiber optic line which will serve as a back-up if the line is severed.


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Digital 395 to fire up Nov. 1
By Jack Barnwell of Ridgecrestca.com
October 12, 2013

Despite delays and previously unforeseen environmental costs, the massive Eastern Sierra Digital 395 broadband project is projecting a Nov. 1 date to fire up service.


Digital 395, a 583-mile project running from Barstow to Reno, is wrapping up its final construction in areas around the Inyo National Forest, including the Crowley Lake dam, according to Mike Ort, the broadband project manager.


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State gives Digital 395 another $9.9 million
By Wendilyn Grasseschi of Mammoth Times
September 12, 2013

The last hurdle to completing the Digital 395 high-speed broadband backbone was jumped last week when California’s Public Utilities Commission voted to give the project another $9.9 million.


The 583-mile project that will connect Barstow to Reno with high-capacity, high-speed broadband fiber optic trunk lines, was over-budget by about that amount by the end of July—the completion deadline date originally set by the federal government, which paid for about $80 million of the $101 million project.


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Digital 395 in Mammoth complete
By George Shirk of Mammoth Times
August 15, 2013

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.


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Faster Internet coming soon
By Mike Gervais of The Inyo Register
July 12, 2013

Digital 395, the high-speed Internet project that will improve connections from Barstow to Reno, is nearing the last leg but unexpected delays may hold completion for another month. The project was scheduled to be completed by July 31, but managers said the company building the fiber-optic backbone, Praxis Associates, said some permits from the U.S. Forest Service have yet to be issued, and some communities, including Inyo’s towns along the U.S. 395 corridor, probably won’t be completed until mid- or late August.


Praxis CEO Mike Ort said Wednesday that Mammoth Lakes should begin receiving its increased Internet speed by the end of the month.


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Digital 395 chief says project mostly on track for July 31 deadline
BY Wendilyn Grasseschi of Mammoth Times
May 18, 2013

Rumors that the Digital 395 project is broke and might not get completed are false, according to the project’s chief executive, Michael Ort.


“We are winding down,” he said. “That means we are not putting in 20 to 50 miles of conduit per month like we were and it also means we are beginning to lay some people off, so that might be where the rumors are coming from, but we will finish this project.”


Ort’s company, Praxis Associates, won a federal bidding process to do the massive, nearly 600-mile high-speed broadband fiber optic project to link Carson City to Kern County.


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Digital 395 working on environmental issues for Inyo National Forest construction
By Jack Barnwell of Ridgecrest Daily Independent
June 27, 2013

Environmental matters are still in the process of being weeded out over Digital 395's transition through the Inyo National Forest, according to the company's main construction company.


"We are still working on the details for one of the areas in the Inyo National Forest," Mike Ort, COO of Praxis Associates, said Friday by phone. "We have a section just east of a dam that we are discussing with officials on how to meet environmental requirements."


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Digital 395 and better internet service draws near
By Benett Kessler of Sierra Wave
June 11, 2013

Eastman asked Greenberg when Digital 395 would be complete and when customers could get better internet service. Greenberg said the completion date is July 30th. He said the crews at work on the project are “going for that.” He said there may be some more work that has to be done after July 30th.


When Eastman asked him when people can expect better internet, Greenberg said the hope is to complete distribution work in Mammoth Lakes by the end of June with customers realizing better service in July and August.


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Digital 395 breaks ground in Inyokern
By Jack Barnwell of Ridgecrest Daily Independent
May 18, 2013

Underground construction on the Digital 395 Middle Mile digital network commenced in Inyokern Friday, according to the CEO of Praxis Associates. "What we're doing is we're working back toward Ridgecreset," Mike Ort, the Praxis CEO, said Friday by phone. Praxis is the lead company in charge of overseeing construction efforts, using local subcontractors where applicable. Ort said underground construction would move throughout the area, including along Inyokern Road and to Inyokern Airport.


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Digital 395 closes in on the finish line
BY WENDILYN GRASSESCHI of Mammoth Times
May 10, 2013

Construction crews are hitting the streets of Bishop to install fiber-optic cables High-speed broadband project will be operational by July 31 deadline, developer says It’s really going to happen. The huge infrastructure project called Digital 395 that will connect the Eastern Sierra to the rest of the world—with enough of the fastest broadband speeds available to last the region a decade—will be finished on time, according to its developer, Praxis Associate CEO Michael Ort.


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Digital 395 work under way in City of Bishop
By MIKE GERVAIS of Inyo Register
April 8, 2013

Construction crews are hitting the streets of Bishop to install fiber-optic cables that could provide residents with improved Internet capabilities. Contractors with Praxis, the company building the Digital 395 project, started work on Bishop streets Thursday, April 4, and are scheduled to complete their work in town in the next few weeks. Until the project is complete, residents can expect some traffic delays on city streets. The work on City of Bishop streets is taking place under an agreement between the city and the California Broadband Cooperative, the group that owns and will operate Digital 395. Crews are also beginning work alongside U.S. 395 south of Big Pine.


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Digital 395 nearing completion in town
By Jack Barnwell of Ridgecrest Daily Independent
April 2, 2013

As traffic crawls along the northbound lanes of China Lake Boulevard, construction crews are continuing to hammer along on the Digital 395 Middle Mile Project. Mike Ort, CEO of Praxis, confirmed Monday that the construction crews were installing fiber optic cables up China Lake Boulevard, after finishing up all of its conduit work. “We’ve got most of our conduit in for our anchor sites and we have our node building completed,” Praxis said. The node building Ort referred to was a prefabricated building designed as a recharge site for digital signals coming up and down the 583-mile network from Barstow to Carson City and Reno. Ort said the Digital 395 project also had most of its main cable in between Barstow and Ridgecrest, but had some work happening in Boron and plans waiting in Barstow.


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Digital 395 crews to install conduit in City of Bishop streets
By News Staff of Sierra Wave
April 2, 2013

Digital 395 Work to Start in BishopThe contractors installing Digital 395 are expected to start installing conduit on city streets as early as this Thursday, 4 April. Work is expected to continue for several weeks. The work on City of Bishop streets is under an agreement with California Broadband Cooperative, the group that is constructing and will operate Digital 395.


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Digital 395 moves along
By Benett Kessler of Sierra Wave
March 25, 2013

Many plans seem to rely on the completion of the project known as Digital 395. Michael Ort of Praxis Associates, which heads up the project, told Sierra Wave Media that next month he believes crews will have finished laying all of the conduit in Inyo County. That will mean connections from Bishop to Barstow.


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Praxis: Construction of Digital 395 not without snags
By Jack Barnwell of Ridgecrest Daily Independent
March 14, 2013

Digital 395 is nearing the completion of its major conduit construction work in Ridgecrest, according to the Praxis CEO. "We should have all of our conduit work done soon," Mike Ort said Wednesday. Construction for the 583-mile rural high-speed broadband communications project has been ongoing along China Lake Boulevard since February and is set to wrap up by mid-March. Kleven Construction is Praxis's subcontractor for installing the backbone conduit and anchor connections in Ridgecrest, setting up the major line down China Lake Boulevard and to public institutions like the schools, City Hall and Ridgecrest Regional Hospital.


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Testimony of Assistant Secretary Strickling on “Is the Broadband Stimulus Working?”
Testimony of The Honorable Lawrence E. Strickling Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information National Telecommunications and Information Administration United States Department of Commerce
February 27, 2013

I. Introduction Chairman Walden, Ranking Member Eshoo, and Members of the Subcommittee, I am pleased to be here to today to update the Subcommittee on the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s (NTIA) work to expand access to and adoption of broadband in the United States. Four years after the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, I can report that our efforts with the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) and State Broadband Initiative (SBI) are delivering substantial and meaningful benefits to thousands of communities in every state, the territories, and the District of Columbia.


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Digital 395 project going full bore
BY WENDILYN GRASSESCHI of Mammoth Times
February 15, 2013

Massive project is finally underway in Mono County The Digital 395 project has been a pie-in-the-sky project for so long, some were beginning to think the 600-plus-mile high-speed broadband fiber project would never make it to Mono County. But as the rash of construction along the highway corridor right now shows, the project is in full swing, both in Mono County and along much of the U.S. 395 corridor to Carson City. Big rock wheels churn through boulders the size of cars, drills bore through solid rock, backhoes do their backhoe thing, and bulldozers and trenching crews are scattered across the county, from the bridge over Mammoth Creek to Bridgeport.


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Digital 395 making serious progress through
By Jack Barnwell Ridgecrest Independent
February 14, 2013

Installation of Digital 395 conduit has blown through town at an incredibly fast pace, with work already nearly winding up on China Lake Boulevard and hitting Inyokern Road, according to Praxis Associates CEO Mike Ort. “We’ve received permits to distribute and hook up our community anchors in Ridgecrest,” Ort said Wednesday, referring to the educational, civic and medical facilities in town. Praxis is the company awarded the contract to oversee construction management of the 583-mile-long fiber optic project.


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Building better business through Digital 395
BY MARILYN BLAKE PHILIP/ INYO REGISTER CORRESPONDENT
February 4, 2013

Various state and regional entities are hosting webinars to help local entrepreneurs start or grow their businesses via the Digital 395 project. This ongoing, online series of business management webinars at Inyo, Kern and Mono County locations were designed to assist business owners find financing and more.


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Mono Supervisors: broadband, Digital 395, interim CAO
By Benett Kessler Sierra Wave
January 28, 2013

In a special meeting Tuesday, the Mono Supervisors were expected to approve a letter to the Public Utility Commission complaining that Verizon failed to meet the deadline to provide broadband internet service to Crowley Lake and Swall Meadows.


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Digital 395 moves along through snow and bureaucratic regulation
By Benett Kessler Sierra Wave
January 22, 2013

Michael Ort heads up Praxis Associates which currently continues to construct the Digital 395 project, which is 583 miles of fiber optic line from Barstow through Inyo and Mono counties to Nevada. It will bring high speed internet to many. Ort gave an update of the project to the Inyo Supervisors on Tuesday.


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Digital 395 set to break ground in next month
By Jack Barnwell of Ridgecrest News
December 13, 2012

Digital 395 is rapidly gaining traction from both ends of the state and is slated to end up breaking ground in Ridgecrest and China Lake in the next month. According to Mike Ort, CEO of Praxis Associates, the company overseeing construction of the massive project, everything up to Red Mountain is already complete.


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Digital 395 work begins near Mammoth this week
By Times Staff Report of the Mammoth Times
November 2, 2012

After three years of planning, Digital 395 crews were set to hit the area south of Mammoth this week, officials said.


“The plowing and boring south of Mammoth along 395 will be quite visible to the locals and there will be some heavy equipment for sure,” said Michael Ort, the private developer for the huge, 563-mile-long high-speed broadband digital cable installation project.


“They start this week along that section (near McGee Creek), moving south toward Bishop,” he said.


The company will also be working along U.S. 395 adjacent to Mono Lake with some big boring equipment, and up by Virginia Lakes with some impressive, big rock grinding machines called “rock wheels,” he said.


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Digital 395 breaks ground in Bridgeport
By Times Staff Report of the Mammoth Times
August 10, 2012

Digital 395 finally broke ground in Mono County this week, as workers began boring underground to form a tunnel that will carry the 563-mile-long, high-speed digital cable through the Bridgeport area and other sensitive areas, joining a project that will eventually lay cable from Carson City to Mojave.


“If the weather holds, we hope to get to the California/Nevada border by winter,” project proponent Praxis Associates CEO Michael Ort told the Mono County Board of Supervisors Tuesday.


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Digital 395 should break ground this month
By Times Staff Report of the Mammoth Times
July 6, 2012

The equipment is on the ground, the crews are ready to go, the studies have been done. Digital 395 is almost ready to break ground in Mono County. Almost.

“All that’s missing is a few, federal right-of-way permits that are still in the appeal process and some last minute work we are doing with the (Native American) tribes,” said private side developer for the project, Michael Ort.

That leaves Ort with about a year to actually construct the project and he said Monday that he is completely confident that the deadline will be met.

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Agencies’ concerns haven’t delayed Digital 395 project
By Mike Gervais of the Inyo Register
March 29, 2012

Despite environmental concerns being voiced about the Digital 395 broadband project, a spokesperson for the developer said work will be moving forward with little or no delay.


Elizabeth Glazner, communications director for Praxis Associates, said agencies such as the California Department of Fish and Game, Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service have raised a number of concerns about potential impacts resulting from Digital 395, which aims to construct a 583-mile fiber-optic underground cable network along U.S. 395 from Barstow to Carson City.


“With any project like this, there are right-of-way issues and concerns about wildlife,” Glazner said. “We have taken great measures to protect wildlife.”

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Digital 395 may start construction in April
By Benett Kessler of the Sierra Wave
March 13, 2012

As residents from Mammoth Lakes to Lone Pine sometimes struggle to get on the internet, the project considered the savior of the Eastern Sierra band-width situation works through environmental approvals toward construction.

Digital 395 means 593 miles of new fiber optic cable buried along side Highway 395 from Barstow, through Inyo and Mono, to Carson City. The project promises to bring high speed broadband to hospitals, libraries, local internet providers, government offices and private citizens. Read More...

LA Department of Water and Power grants right-of-entry to Digital 395 Project
Kern Valley Sun
March 13, 2012

California Broadband Cooperative (CBC) has reached a right-of-entry accord with the city of Los Angeles and its Department of Water and Power that grants CBC access to a swath of mixed-use land owned by LADWP along U.S. Highway 395 in Mono, Inyo and Kern counties. The agreement affects over 104 miles of LADWP-owned land used for public utilities and for public travel across highways and roads. The LADWP right-of-entry agreement was executed on March 1. Read More...

Digital 395 Project focusing on jobs
By Mike Gervais of The Inyo Register
February 28, 2012

Hundreds of new, full-time jobs are in the process of being added to the Eastern Sierra workforce as progress continues on the Digital 395 broadband project.

Funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, commonly referred to as the Stimulus Act, the project involves building a fiber-optic backbone along a 583-mile stretch of U.S. 395 through the Eastern Sierra. Read More...

Digital 395 gets final clearance through Ridgecrest
By Stephanie Forshee of The Daily Independent
December 1, 2011

Ridgecrest, CA - According to Praxis Digital 395 Project Director Joe Castner, the project is in the clear as far as Ridgecrest is concerned.

In its Nov. 16 meeting, the Ridgecrest City Council approved allowance for a right of way to go to the Digital 395 Broadband Project. The passage was the final piece to the puzzle in order for the project to move forward in Ridgecrest. “Things are proceeding smoothly,” Castner said. Read More...

Firms invited to get in line for Digital 395 jobs
By Mike Gervais of The Inyo Register
September 22, 2011

High-speed broadband capability is coming to Inyo County and local contractors and vendors are being asked to help speed it along. According to Dan Stone, president of the Owens Valley Contractors and Vendors Association, the California Broadband Cooperative, Inc., which is funding the Digital 395 project, is working with the OVCVA to ensure local businesses are on board and have first dibs on economy-boosting contracts the project will bring. Read More...

Comment on proposed Digital 395
By News Staff of Sierra Wave
August 31, 2011

The wheels are still in motion, and now public comments are being sought Digital 395, the fiber-optic network for the Eastern Sierra. Notices were published recently in newspapers, with the comment period beginning today and ending on Sept. 27. The following release and other information is available online at the digital395.com Read More...

Digital 395 moves ahead on schedule
By Bennet Kessler of Sierra Wave
June 19th, 2011

The project that will bring serious broadband internet and wireless communication capacity to Inyo, Mono and Kern counties continues on schedule with environmental permits close to done and plans to dig trenches and install cables not far off. Read More...

Digital 395 closer to lighting up
By Andy Geisel of The Sheet
May 13, 2011

In the fiber optic world, it’s called “light up,” which is when a network’s first few basic strands begin to traffic the tiny laser beams that can carry immense amounts of data. Read More...

Digital 395: California company wants to include Carson City in fiber optic network
By Brian Duggun of Nevada Appeal
March 13, 2011

A California company has plans to include Carson City in a 583-mile-long fiber optic network that includes nearly three dozen communities between Barstow, Calif., and Reno in an effort to expand access to broadband Internet in the region. Read More...

The Digital 395 project is as hard as it comes
By Wendilyn Grasseschi of the Mammoth Times
January 28, 2011

That’s what the man in charge of Digital 395 said about the rush to get the massive project completed by its July 2013 deadline. Not an easy feat – laying 583 miles of spun glass high speed optical cable from Barstow to Reno.
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Digital Hijack?
By Lara Kirkner of The Sheet
November 5, 2010

As Frank Herbert wrote in his Dune series, “Fear is the mind killer.” The question in the minds of many local businessmen is whether or not they have something to fear from Praxis, the company spearheading the Digital 395 project, and Inyo Networks, an internet service provider affiliated with Praxis. Read More...

'Digital 395' Broadband Project awarded funds
By The Kern Valley Sun
August 24, 2010

The US Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced today the award of a broadband infrastructure investment grant to the California Broadband Cooperative, Inc. (CBC). The grant, totaling $81.1 million, will fund the construction of “Digital 395,” a middle-mile fiber-optic network between Barstow, California and Carson City, Nevada. Read More...

Digitized!
By Andy Geisel of The Sheet
August 20, 2010

Praxis CEO Michael Ort isn’t looking back. Much. Ort, whose company is spearheading the Digital 395 broadband infrastructure project, found out earlier this week that the company was awarded the final chunk of funding needed to start work on the fiberoptic data superhighway project. Read More...

Breaking News: Digital 395 Funded!
By Andy Geisel of The Sheet
August 19, 2010

Praxis CEO Michael Ort, whose company is spearheading the Digital 395 broadband infrastructure project, found out earlier this week that the company was awarded the final chunk of funding needed to start work on the fiberoptic data superhighway project. Read More...

Calif. Gov. Schwarzenegger Applauds Award of $200 Million in Broadband Grants for California
Edited by Valerie Gotten of The California Newswire
August 24, 2010

California Broadband Cooperative, Inc. ($81,148,788) – This approximately $81.1 million award will allow the California Broadband Cooperative to offer affordable middle-mile broadband service in California and Nevada.
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CA Democratic Congressional Members Applaud $203 Million in Broadband Grants to California
From the California Democratic Congressional Members

Funding will provide advanced Internet infrastructure for community colleges, rural areas, and public safety areas.


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California broadband projects pick up $205 million in federal funding
By Shan Li of the Los Angeles Times
August 18, 2010

The California Broadband Cooperative received the biggest grant in the state -- more than $81 million -- for its Digital 395 Middle Mile project, which proposes to build a 553-mile fiber optic network between Barstow and Carson City, Nev., providing broadband access to about 15% of California. Read More...

Satellite, Public Safety Projects Win Broadband Awards
By Grant Gross of PC World - Business Center
August 18, 2010

Four satellite-based broadband providers and emergency responders were among the winners in a new list of broadband grants and loans announced by two U.S. agencies Wednesday.
The awards, part of the economic stimulus package the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009, include more than US$307 million in grants to nine projects involving public safety networks and $100 million to four satellite broadband providers to cover remote areas. Read More...

California Broadband Cooperative awarded $81.1M Broadband Infrastructure Grant
By Mayhook Law
August 18, 2010

Mayhook Law, PLLC congratulates California Broadband Cooperative, Inc. (CBC) on the announcement of it's $81.1M infrastructure grant award from the National Telecommunications and Association's (NTIA) Broadband Opportunities Program (BTOP). The NTIA grant award will fund the design and construction of the Digital 395 Project in the Eastern Sierra reigon of California.


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Gov. Schwarzenegger Applauds Award of $200 Million in Broadband Grants for California
By Kim Hamilton of The Pine Tree
August 18, 2010

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger today issued the following statement after it was announced that California was awarded over $200 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act) grants by the Department of Commerce's National Telecommunications and Information Administration for Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) for projects across California. Read More...

Desert broadband project gets $81 million in federal dollars
By Jessica Cejnar of the Desert Dispatch
August 18, 2010

A Bishop nonprofit cooperative received $81.1 million in federal stimulus dollars to build a 400-mile-long high speed Internet cable between Barstow and Carson City, Nevada. Read More...

Congresswoman Matsui Applauds Announcement of $205 Million in Recovery Act Funding for California Broadband Projects
By Mara Lee of the Sacramento Press
August 18, 2010

Today, Congresswomen Doris Matsui (D-Sacramento), a member of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications, Technology and the Internet, commended the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s (NTIA) announcement that California will receive Recovery Act funding totaling $205,147,578 for seven Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) projects in California. Read More...

Digital 395 shows more backbone
By Andy Geisel of The Sheet
June 14, 2010

Praxis’ second application for federal American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA) funding of its $100 million-plus Digital 395 broadband infrastructure project has cleared its first review hurdle, and received the Governor’s recommendation. Read More...

Supes back digital reboot
By Andy Geisel of The Sheet
March 5, 2010

Digital 395, the Internet superhighway broadband infrastructure project designed to bring cutting edge data transmission to a large portion of U.S. 395 and surrounding communities, was denied funding from part of the $787 million American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) stimulus package last week. Read More...

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