Press and News Releases



Press Releases

Kleven Construction Awarded Underground Conduit Construction
CBC Press Release
January, 2013

RENO, NV – A contract has been awarded to Kleven Construction who brings their expertise in underground conduit placement to Digital 395’s fiber optic project. Kleven Construction of Phoenix Arizona operates out of 11 Western States and has a considerable employee base in California, upholding their policy to hire locally. Kleven Construction will handle work on the branch lines off Digital 395’s main backbone, primarily constructing under the streets in the city of Ridgecrest, Bishop and Mammoth Lakes.

About CBC:
CBC - California Broadband Cooperative, Inc. is a not‐for‐profit California 501(c)(12) Telecommunication Cooperative Corporation formed for the purposes of owning and operating the Digital 395 network, which will provide high‐speed broadband services to its members on a wholesale, open‐access basis. As a cooperative, the organization will be under the direction of a Board of Directors representing key institutions and constituents in the Eastern Sierra. For more information, please contact Robert Volker at rvolker@digital395.com

About Praxis Associates:
Praxis is a fiber optic network development company that specializes in developing complete broadband solutions. Praxis specialties include business case development, grants applications and administration, Rights-of-Way and Permits, local and long-haul engineering, project management and fiber construction. Praxis clients include large-scale telecommunications firms, companies and communities developing private networks, and governmental entities. Praxis is managing the Digital 395 Project on behalf of CBC. Praxis corporate offices are located in Vallejo, California with several regional offices in the project area. For more information, please contact Michael Ort at mort@praxisfiber.com

Feds Approve Key Permit for Digital 395
CBC Press Release
May 7, 2012

RENO, NEVADA — Another major step has been achieved in the Digital 395 Broadband Project. Today, Monday, May 7, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), the lead environmental agency, issued a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) under the National Environmental Policy Act, closing off one of the key steps for the 583-mile long fiber project through the Eastern Sierra. The project spans the desert and alpine regions between Barstow California on the south and Reno Nevada in the north with many service connections to schools, hospitals, government agencies and other critical facilities along the way. When it is complete, very high levels of broadband will be made available to over 35 communities, most of which have either no or very poor access to the internet today. The permit means the 583-mile fiber optic project is moving closer to breaking ground in the next 30 days.

The NTIA’s permit will compliment a major California permit issued by the California Public Utility Commission’s (CPUC) last November, under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). Together, these permits allow many of the local agencies, such as the US Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management, Caltrans and the Nevada Department of Transportation to proceed with their steps to issue permits for their lands. In general, all permits must be in accordance with each other so that they can be consistently managed by the project.

“The project is closer to a reality as a result of this permit,” said Robert Volker, CEO of California Broadband Cooperative (CBC), the company who was awarded grants from the CPUC and NTIA, “and it looks like broadband and more jobs will be coming soon for the Eastern Sierra."

Michael Ort, CEO for Praxis Associates, the company responsible for its execution, said, “Our team and vendors have been anxiously awaiting this news. Our materials are on hand, our equipment is ready, and we want to get at it. The local residents have seen our engineers and huge reels of cable rolling along Highway 395, now they are going to be seeing folks back to work, putting it in the ground.”

Since the timeframes are so compressed for the project, there are four parallel activities that will be underway: a handful of small buildings called “nodes” will be strategically installed in towns along the route to regenerate the optical signals on the fiber, conduit will be installed along the main route, cables will be laid in the towns, and the 300 or so service locations will be wired up. The project is aimed at connecting schools, medical facilities, public safety buildings, and various governmental agencies. Private residents and businesses will benefit from retailers who will tie into Digital 395 to get faster, lower-cost broadband. “The public will see activities all along the route,” Ort said. "We will be working initially in Nevada to make our connections there in concert with activities closer to Barstow. However, we should quickly see more activity in Mono County, so we can beat the winter snows.”

In case you think that trucks will be rolling this week, there are still several agencies that need to complete their work approving other permits. In total, over 45 permitting agencies were involved in overseeing the approvals: protecting animals, plants, historical and cultural sites, maintaining water quality, and generally assuring that the project follows federal, state and local regulations. “We still need to close off some final requirements with the US Forest Service, BLM, and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, several tribal lands, and with agencies concerned with the cultural heritage of the area,” Ort said, “but the agencies are supporting the effort and are moving things along. They have to make sure all their requirements are met.”

The project is slated for completion at the end of July 2013.

About CBC:
CBC - California Broadband Cooperative, Inc. is a not‐for‐profit California 501(c)(12) Telecommunication Cooperative Corporation formed for the purposes of owning and operating the Digital 395 network, which will provide high‐speed broadband services to its members on a wholesale, open‐access basis. As a cooperative, the organization will be under the direction of a Board of Directors representing key institutions and constituents in the Eastern Sierra. For more information, please contact Robert Volker at rvolker@digital395.com

About Praxis Associates:
Praxis is a fiber optic network development company that specializes in developing complete broadband solutions. Praxis specialties include business case development, grants applications and administration, Rights-of-Way and Permits, local and long-haul engineering, project management and fiber construction. Praxis clients include large-scale telecommunications firms, companies and communities developing private networks, and governmental entities. Praxis is managing the Digital 395 Project on behalf of CBC. Praxis corporate offices are located in Vallejo, California with several regional offices in the project area. For more information, please contact Michael Ort at mort@praxisfiber.com

LADWP Grants Right-of-Entry to Digital 395 Project
CBC Press Release
March 7, 2012

RENO, NEVADA — 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, 2012.

The city of Los Angeles is very interested in supporting the project, according to Martin Adams, LADWP Director of Water Operations. “The LADWP is happy to assist in the economic growth of the Eastern Sierra,” Adams said. “We’re glad we can put LADWP lands to good use and to help the project become a reality.”

The license agreement pushes the project, known as Digital 395, closer to groundbreaking. Digital 395 aims to bring high-speed, high-capacity Internet, telecommunications, data, and video services to communities along a 583-mile stretch of the Eastern Sierra corridor from Barstow, Calif. to Reno, Nev. Praxis Associates, the company managing the project on behalf of CBC, expects to have shovels in the dirt in April.

"As one of the largest land owners in the Eastern Sierra, the city of Los Angeles and LADWP are making an extensive contribution, with this agreement, to improving the lives and future economic opportunities of the Eastern Sierra,” said Michael Ort, Chief Executive Officer of Praxis Associates, the company implementing the project on behalf of CBC. “We thank them for their hard work and creative solutions in helping us meet the project's aggressive timeframes."

About CBC:
California Broadband Cooperative, Inc. is a not‐for‐profit California Consumer Cooperative Corporation formed for the purposes of owning and operating the Digital 395 network, which will provide high‐speed broadband services to its members on a wholesale, open‐access basis. As a cooperative, the organization will be under the direction of a board of directors representing key institutions and constituents in the Eastern Sierra.

About Praxis Associates:
Praxis is a fiber optic network development company that specializes in developing complete broadband solutions. Praxis specialties include business case development, grants applications and administration, rights-of-way and permits, local and long haul engineering, project management and fiber construction. Clients include large-scale telecommunications firms, companies and communities developing private networks, and governmental entities. Praxis is managing the Digital 395 project on behalf of the CBC. Its corporate offices are in Vallejo, Calif. with several regional offices.

Digital 395 Project Moves Forward With Local Agency Support
CBC Press Release
March 2, 2012

BISHOP, CALIFORNIA - California Broadband Cooperative, Inc., the developer of the Digital 395 broadband communications project, is pleased to announce the recent execution of license agreements for the use of county rights-of-way and related property for the installation of the project's main fiber optic cable backbone. Pending completion of the remaining state and federal agreements and permits, CBC is scheduling construction to start in early April of this year.

The licenses include agreements with the County of Inyo, County of Mono and County of Kern. These agreements allow CBC to use certain county land for node sites, community service cabinet sites, service connections, and for use of county rights-of-way for underground fiber optic transmission lines. Nodes are small communication shelters within which fiber optic signals are regenerated and amplified, occurring about every 60 miles along the route. They also allow for distribution of service into the surrounding communities. Community service cabinet sites are locations where utility cabinets allow flexibility in connecting various cables together. Anchors are the name given by the funding agencies to designate key government agencies, educational and public safety institutions, and medical facilities targeted for high-speed broadband connections. All of these components are required in the design of a fiber optic network. The county agreements also provide that these counties will be represented on the Cooperative's board of directors when it starts providing services.

License agreements for node facilities have also recently been executed with the Eastern Sierra Unified School District, the Antelope Valley Fire Protection District, and Mammoth Unified School District.

"We want to thank the elected officials in each of the agencies, and all their staff members, who have worked so hard to help us reach this point," said Michael Ort, the Chief Operating Officer of CBC. "It shows that a public-private partnership like the Cooperative can bring critical resources together to bring tremendous change for the Eastern Sierra region's betterment."

About CBC:
California Broadband Cooperative, Inc. is a not-for-profit California Consumer Cooperative Corporation formed for the purposes of owning and operating the Digital 395 network, which will provide high-speed broadband services to its members on a wholesale, open-access basis. As a cooperative, the organization will be owned by its members: the agencies, institutions and businesses that utilize its services. The Digital 395 project is funded by grants from the Department of Commerce's Broadband Technologies Opportunity Fund and the California Public Utilities Commission's Advanced Services Fund.

About Praxis Associates:
Praxis is a fiber optic network development company that specializes in developing complete broadband solutions. Praxis specialties include business case development, grants applications and administration, rights-of-way and permits, local and long haul engineering, project management and fiber construction. Clients include large-scale telecommunications firms, companies and communities developing private networks, and governmental entities. Praxis is managing the Digital 395 project on behalf of the CBC. Its corporate offices are in Vallejo, Calif. with several regional offices.

Digital 395 Project Spurs Jobs Creation
Growth Sectors Include Professional and Construction Labor Positions
February 24, 2012

RENO, NEVADA - As a major broadband project under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, commonly referred to as the Stimulus Act, many full-time jobs are being created to build the Digital 395 broadband infrastructure project along a 583-mile stretch of U.S. Highway 395. The jobs include laborers, heavy equipment operators and truck drivers, materials handlers, clerical and administrative support personnel, construction managers, and jobs related to environmental monitoring of culturally and biologically sensitive areas along the route.

Of the full-time employee positions hired thus far, about 40 percent are local hires from the Eastern Sierra region of California and Nevada, including Reno, Carson City, Mammoth, Bishop and Big Pine. These positions are in engineering, project management and business development.

Praxis Associates, the company implementing the project on behalf of the California Broadband Cooperative, expects to directly employ approximately 40 operatives during the cable placing, splicing, and provisioning stages of construction, according to Rick Johnson, chief administrative officer for Praxis. Of these, approximately 30 will be new hires from the U.S. Highway 395 corridor, Johnson said.

By the time the construction phase is in full swing, Praxis will have created about 100 jobs equally divided between professional and construction labor positions. Praxis expects to create about 150 more jobs through its contractors and professional services firms.

In addition, through its purchases of approximately $30 million in materials, vehicles and equipment, the Digital 395 project has indirectly created approximately 300 to 400 additional jobs elsewhere in the economy, according to Johnson.

"We are pleased to have the opportunity to be part of President Obama's stimulus program," said Johnson. "Two hundred-fifty well-paid jobs will have a tangible impact on these employees' families, on the companies from whom they will purchase goods and services, on those companies' employees and their families, and so on. The fact that this work is concentrated along the U.S. Highway 395 corridor of the Eastern Sierra will no doubt produce visible economic results there as well, not to mention the ultimate value of the network in itself."

About CBC:
California Broadband Cooperative, Inc. is a not-for-profit California Consumer Cooperative Corporation formed for the purposes of owning and operating the Digital 395 network, which will provide high-speed broadband services to its members on a wholesale, open-access basis. As a cooperative, the organization will be under the direction of a board of directors representing key institutions and constituents in the Eastern Sierra.

About Praxis Associates:
Praxis is a fiber optic network development company which specializes in developing complete broadband solutions. Praxis specialties include business case development, grants applications and administration, rights-of-way and permits, local and long-haul engineering, project management and fiber construction. Praxis clients include large-scale telecommunications firms, companies and communities developing private networks, and governmental entities. Praxis is managing the Digital 395 Project on behalf of CBC. Its corporate offices are located in Vallejo, Calif. with several regional offices.

Curtis & Sons Awarded Underground Construction Bid for Nevada Leg of Digital 395 Project
CBC Press Release
February 20, 2012

Reno, Nevada – Three more construction contracts in the much-anticipated Digital 395 broadband initiative have been awarded, bringing the 583-mile fiber optic project closer to breaking ground this spring.

Curtis & Sons of Gardnerville, Nev. will handle 35 underground miles of the route in variable terrain that will require a variety of strategies in order to be able to lay the conduit that will carry the fiber optic cable. “Our entire backbone is going to be underground,” according to Jim Reid, Engineering Manager for Praxis Assoc., the company that is implementing the project on behalf of the California Broadband Cooperative. Reid noted that Curtis & Sons is very experienced with digging operations in the western Nevada area. For more information, download the PDF.

Jensen Precast Awarded Vault Contract for D395 Project
CBC Press Release
November 30, 2011

Reno, Nevada – The California Broadband Cooperative announced another milestone has been reached in its massive “Middle Mile” Digital 395 fiber network project. Jensen Precast of Sparks, NV, a concrete manufacturing company, has been awarded the subcontract to build 417 underground barrel vaults to be deployed along the network, which will run variably along U.S. Route 395 from Barstow, CA to Carson City, NV.

Michael Ort, CEO for Praxis Associates, said the award of the contract is a welcomed push in the right direction to get construction off the ground. “We are very excited about our partnership with Jensen Precast and the possibility it has in bringing local jobs to the Eastern Sierra,” Ort said. “We expect to benefit from the excellent quality of their product and their excellent service.” Praxis is the company implementing the 583-mile project on behalf of the CBC. For more information, download the PDF.

CPUC Action Allows Digital 395 Project To Move Forward
CBC Press Release
November 10, 2011

San Francisco - The California Public Utilities Commission(CPUC) today adopted an environmental report that sets the stage for the California Broadband Cooperative(CBC) to move forward and obtain other required state and federal permits in order to build a new 593-mile fiber network.

The CPUC approved a Final Mitigated Negative Declaration pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act for the CBC's Digital 395 broadband fiber optic infrastructure project, which has received grant funding from both the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act stimulus fund ($81.15 million) and the California Advanced Services Fund ($19.3 million). For more information, download the PDF.

A-D Technologies Awarded Conduit Contract for D395 Project
CBC Press Release
October 11, 2011

Reno, NV - California Broadband Cooperative (CBC) announced its award of contract to Knoxville, Tennessee based A-D Technologies to provide conduit for its new 583-mile, fiber network that will mainly follow U.S. Route 395, a major transportation corridor between southern and northern California, and which passes into Nevada. “We are delighted to join forces with A-D Technologies on this important project”, said Michael Ort, CEO for Praxis Associates, who is implementing the project on behalf of CBC. “With a major production facility in Reno, they have a major stake in the Nevada economy and are thrilled to join us in creating jobs and economic opportunity both here and along the entire route”, added Ort. For more information, download the PDF.

CBC Awards OFS Cable Contract for D395 Project
CBC Press Release
October 6, 2011

Reno, NV - California Broadband Cooperative (CBC) announced its award of a contract to OFS to provide optical fiber cable for its 583-mile fiber network that will mainly follow U.S. Route 395 which connects southern and northern California. “We’re excited to be partnering with OFS on this exciting project”, said Michael Ort, CEO of Praxis Associates. “They understand its historical significance and share our passion to help provide jobs and economic development along the project’s route”, Ort added. For more information, download the PDF.

"Digital 395" Broadband Project Awarded ARRA Funds
CBC Press Release
June 24, 2010

Bishop, CA (August 18, 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. The 583-mile infrastructure project will directly connect more than 237 hospitals, schools, libraries, military bases, local governments, last-mile service providers, and other anchor institutions to a high-speed broadband network-as well as create, it is estimated, hundreds of local jobs. For more information, download the PDF.

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