Bandwidth is so restricted in the Mammoth Lakes area that residents, business owners and tourists have begun to tear their hair out as they try to get online. For many, it’s just not happening. Councilman Matthew Lehman agendized the issue to press Suddenlink and Verizon for information.
Lehman brought up the internet frustrations at the last Council meeting which prompted many phone calls about internet complaints. Lehman called it a “hot topic” when Suddenlink official Jason Oelkers stood up to talk to the Council about the problem. Oelkers said Suddenlink inherited the shortage of bandwidth when they recently purchased the Mammoth system from NPG Cable. He said that this is not their normal mode of operation. Oelkers said the Digital 395 bandwidth project is the “best long-term solution.”
Councilman Lehman said he has a problem with having no solution until Digital 395 comes on line. Lehman said, “I’m paying for service I don’t get. Tourists come here for a working vacation and can’t get online.” Lehman said waiting a year for Digital 395 is “hard to swallow.”
The reality is Suddenlink does not have, as Mr. Oelkers put it, “the luxury of more bandwidth.” He said the company stopped selling internet service to Mammoth customers when they saw the restrictions. Oelkers said internet use has doubled. He added that Suddenlink’s long-haul carrier is Verizon.
When pressed by Lehman for any interim solutions, Oelkers said Suddenlink is examining some “exotic solutions that are in early testing phases”. He said he could not reveal anything further right now.
The Town had asked Verizon to send a representative to deal with this pressing issue. No one from Verizon showed up at the meeting.