1. Telecommunications infrastructure and services are critical components for long-term growth and sustainability for the county, as they provide the basic resources necessary for businesses to operate and add to the quality of life for residents. Increasingly, business success is tied to online accessibility, including e-commerce solutions, discoverability, and the overall necessity of high-quality broadband capable of high speeds with symmetric up and down transfer rates. Of equal importance is broadband to residents for access to online education, research, employment, health care, and government resources.
  2. Historically, Mono County has suffered from a lack of quality broadband due to our rural nature and low population with dispersed community areas. With the installation of Digital 395 (see III.C. Definitions for more information) in 2013, however, capacity issues will be resolved and new opportunities will arise.
  3. With the rapid advances in mobile device technology, both providers and subscribers are increasingly looking to mobile solutions to help fill communication gaps and provide alternatives to typical fixed deployments. While the mobile alternatives are extremely valuable at fulfilling their role, they are not a panacea for solving broadband issues throughout the county.
  4. The primary issues with the mobile broadband solution are the data caps that are placed on customers, the overall cost of the service, and the typical requirement of a long-term contract in order to receive the service. While these are hurdles typically overcome by those looking to utilize this technology as a secondary method for accessing the Internet, for those who are looking at it as their primary, they may be insurmountable.
  5. For the most part, some form of cellular coverage exists in almost every community; however, it is carrier dependent. AT&T and Verizon are the two main carriers, whose coverage models overlap, but do not provide the same coverage in all of the same areas. In addition to some communities not having cellular service, there are significant sections of our primary highway corridors without coverage, which poses safety concerns and convenience issues for travelers.
  6. With Digital 395, cellular coverage throughout the county may improve as new sites are developed and existing sites improved with upgraded technology that adopts a fiber-fed backhaul. This development pattern is important, and should be considered strategically and implemented thoughtfully in order to meet goals and objectives while adhering to policies and parameters.
  7. Within the context of non-mobile broadband technology, Mono County continues to struggle with the basic aspects of accessibility, reliability, and adoption. These three aspects are closely related to each other, as the region as a whole has been starved of quality Internet until very recently. Where service is accessible (mainly in the major community areas), the reliability and usability of that service has not always been great enough to motivate everyone to adopt. Coupled with the demographics of the region (a mix of income levels, education, age, and ethnicities), a portion of the population still does not use the Internet.
  8. Outside the town of Mammoth Lakes and the community of June Lake, most communities do not have more than one Internet Service Provider. For the most part, smaller communities are serviced by a single, fixed wireless provider (, leaving only one other small, wireline provider (Escape Broadband) to compete with the bigger companies offering wireline service – Suddenlink and Verizon.
  9. Due to limited competition, the market in each community has been dominated by a single (non-mobile) carrier, which limits consumer choice, stifles competition, and does not afford redundancy. In addition, business use of Internet is limited to residential- grade service plans, with only a small number of T1 type connections, or similar higher- speed service offerings. In general, this has not only resulted in those businesses being confined to Mammoth or June Lake, but also made it difficult or financially impractical for businesses to get higher speeds or symmetric service offerings.
  10. A high priority is placed on broadband market development, and the engagement of Mono County in the regional deployment of this critical infrastructure. Participation in local, regional, statewide, and federal efforts that are aimed at the improved diffusion of broadband and communications technology is an important part of achieving the goals and objectives.