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.
Digital 395 aims to run a high-speed broadband cable the length of U.S. 395, bringing new Internet capabilities to the rural communities along the route.
“I’m not real sure how big this project is going to be, but any jobs we can bring to town, and keep the money here, is important,” Stone said.
The OVCVA will be meeting this evening to discuss some of the details of the project and learn exactly what kinds of services the project proponent will need when work begins.
Currently, Stone said he knows Digital 395 will require some underground construction and landscaping, and will likely need other services.
“We’re going to start this off Thursday with a meeting with the (OVCVA) to get prepared and learn what they need,” Stone said. “Thursday night we should get more details.”
Stone said any contractor or vendor that wishes to bid on Digital 395 projects will need the appropriate bonds and insurance to work on a state-funded project.
“If there are any companies or individuals who are interested in joining the OVCVA, they should contact me about membership before coming to our meetings,” Stone said. “This group is very important because if you don’t get advanced notice of these
kinds of projects, it’s hard to get in on them. It’s our job to help these businesses get in line.”
The OVCVA works to locate and learn more about large-scale contracts and helps to get its members involved.
For the Digital 395 Project, the OVCVA was actually approached by the project manager, asking if there were any local businesses interested in bidding on contracts.
“We’re glad to talk to anyone who is qualified,” Stone said.
A summary of the project is also available at California Broadband Cooperative’s Web site at www.digital395.com , and from the White House web portal at http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2010/08/18/vice-president-bid... .
For more information on becoming a member of the OVCVA, contact Stone at (760) 920-8950.