USFS Gives Go-Ahead to Verizon; PUC Still Undecided

The fiber optic line project between Bishop and Mammoth Lakes will go ahead, according to Verizon and the Forest Service. That line will bring more internet and phone service to Mammoth Lakes and beyond.mike_page.jpg

Citizens in the Swall Meadows area realized the line went right through their neighborhood and with unreliable phone service they asked for part of the fiber to serve them. Verizon said, no. Stephen Kalish of Swall Meadows began to examine the project and found that Verizon had failed to jump through required hoops.

Kalish questioned the validity of a Verizon application to the Forest Serivce. Forest Supervisor Jim Upchurch pulled Verizon's permit to check out the issues.

Verizon's Mike Page, Public Information Officer

After an examination of Verizon's project and the details, the Forest Service has now given Verizon the go-ahead.

Forest Supervisor Upchurch has now signed a decision to authorize Verizon to complete the installation of about 11,400 feet of fiber optic cable on forest lands between Sky Meadow Ranch and Tom's Place.

The Forest Service said that this 11,400 foot section will complete the 40-mile project between Bishop and Mammoth. More services will then go to customers in Mammoth, June Lake, Lee Vining and Bridgeport, according to the Forest Service.

Still uncertain, however, is the section between McGee Creek Rd. and Highway 203. That section of Highway 395 is designated Scenic Highway and the issue was raised that Verizon had failed to get the okay from Caltrans to string cable along that area.

The Public Utilities Commission has looked into the issue and will vote yes or no on a scenic highway waiver when they meet on November 6th.

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