Three companies plan to bring high-speed Internet connections to Ojai over the next two years, news that pleased city officials, who said lack of the service has hurt their ability to attract new businesses.
Sprint will use Pacific Bell equipment and might have the service available by summer, a Sprint spokeswoman said.
Sprint plans to offer digital subscriber line (DSL) service to the rural community in an arrangement Pacific Bell officials call "co-locating," in which Sprint installs its equipment inside Pac Bell offices.
The DSL service will only be available in packaged deals with two or four telephone lines and long-distance service, said Angie Makkyla, a spokeswoman for Sprint. Cost will be $119 to $149 a month, she said.
In December or January Ojai.Net, a local Internet service provider, also will roll out high-speed Internet service similar to DSL via a wireless system, said Robert Maynard, co-owner of Ojai.Net.
Adelphia, the city's cable television provider, also plans high-speed Internet service within the next two years. The company is negotiating a new contract with the city and expects to add high-speed cable modem Internet access for its Ojai Valley customers, said Dan Deutsch, area manager for Adelphia.
In September, the Ojai City Council joined with Fillmore in accusing Pacific Bell--which provides basic telephone service for both cities--of shutting them out of high-speed Internet access.
DSL runs over standard telephone lines at a higher frequency than voice telephone calls. It can stay connected to the Internet without interrupting telephone conversations and enables users to send and receive a heavy volume of electronic data almost instantaneously.
Pacific Bell charges $39.95 a month for the service.
Pac Bell officials said the company expects to wire Ojai and Fillmore for some type of high-speed Internet service within five years.