I'm excited for the schools and libraries in Mono county, as this will definitely be a game-changer for them -
Someone had better increase their budgets. It's just the beginning of a never ending spending spree.
It's not hype at all. In fact, we'll be getting more bandwidth for less cost, saving taxpayers significant money due to D395. This isn't Monopoly-money - it's real. For example, for a single point-to-point T1 from Coleville library to the nearest K12HSN node in Markleeville costs about $1495/month from Frontier. Co-op pricing is about $250/month for 100Mbps. These are both full retail pricing, before E-rate and California Teleconnect Fund discounts. This is real money which will go directly back into district and MCOE general funds, Skierbob. The Internet service itself is already free through CENIC (which provides Internet service to each county node in all 58 counties in California). The Mono County node is at the MCOE office in Mammoth Lakes. We distribute the Internet feed via leased circuits to all schools and libraries in Mono County. The Inyo county node is in my old office at the Bishop Elementary campus at the end of Elm street in Bishop.
The really BIG savings will go to Eastern Sierra Unified. They pay about $1400 per month for each T1 they own. They currently pay for two circuits from Coleville to Bridgeport, Two from Bridgeport to Mammoth Lakes, Two from Lee Vining to Mammoth Lakes, and for Schat.net service to Edna Beamon in Benton. Each circuit is a leased MPLS circuit (about T1 capacity, or 1.5Mbps), so they pay about three grand a month for Coleville, Bridgeport, and Lee Vining to be connected to the node in Mammoth Lakes. This is before their E-rate and CTF discounts. E-rate for MCOE is about 79%, and CTF is always 50% of the remaining cost. I don't know what ESUSD's E-Rate discount is (it is based on Free and Reduced lunch student percentage), but the minimum is 50%, so you can go with that. They'll save $2100 per month at three different sites, so their real-world cost will drop $41,400 in one fell swoop. And more importantly, their available bandwidth will increase from 1.5Mbps to 100Mbps.
The libraries (who have always been underfunded) will also see big savings. They currently pay for T1 service in Coleville, June Lake, and Bridgeport. Each costs about $1400/month from Verizon. That's for 1.5Mbps service. Their costs will also drop by $1150/month at each of those sites, so their budgets improve by $41,400 in the first fiscal year. And, their bandwidth increases to 100Mbps from 1.5Mbps. This is HUGE for them. We will also be able to decommission the existing wireless link that feeds SNARL and the Crowley Lake library (from Mammoth Middle School, bounces off Doe Ridge repeater at the airport, for which we pay about $150/month).
So again, this is not hype. It's real-world savings, and real-world increase in bandwidth to each school and library in Inyo and Mono counties.
The real question is whether local ISPs are willing to pay for capacity on D395 and not oversell. I have the network map ready for schools and libraries, and I'm assuming private firms, including Suddenlink and Schat.net are both planning to purchase capacity when D395 fiber is lit, so they can resell to retail consumers.