Truckee, CA

This article was first published in Suddenlink’s employee newsletter in October 2007. It has been modified for republication here, as one installment in an occasional series on communities served by Suddenlink.

 

 

Drive 15 miles due north from Lake Tahoe 15 on State Route 89 – or about 100 miles northeast of Sacramento along Interstate 80 – and you’ll find Truckee, California, nestled in the heart of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, boasting some of the most breathtaking scenery, fastest ski slopes, and best golf courses anywhere in the Continental U.S.

Truckee traces its history to a Paiute Indian chief who helped thousands of people traveling west through Northern California in the mid-1800’s. The chief’s name apparently sounded like “Tro-kay” to emigrants, and they subsequently changed it to something that, presumably, was easier for them to pronounce.

In 1866, three years after the Town of Truckee was officially established, the area’s first lumber mill was built to help satiate the growing construction demands of railroads and mines. In the early 1900’s, Hollywood discovered Truckee, making it a backdrop for 82 films between 1910 and 1941, and a favorite hangout of major stars of the day, from Clark Gable to Greta Garbo. Then, in 1960, the Olympic winter games came to Squaw Valley, 10 miles south of Truckee. The resulting publicity helped transform the area into a major tourist destination, which it remains to this day.

Suddenlink joined the Truckee community in August 2004, when (operating as Cebridge) we acquired the local cable system from USA Media.

What we discovered in Truckee was a dedicated, hard-working group of local employees who faced a number of daunting challenges, including: a central technical facility that was housed in an unsightly, cramped, and hard-to-reach set of rusting railroad freight boxes; high-speed Internet service that was occasionally disrupted in certain parts of the town due to old, damaged wiring and an excessive number of homes per node; broadcast TV-station signals that were frequently compromised by the distance, terrain, and climate-changes between Truckee, Reno, Sacramento, and San Francisco.*

To help address these issues, new managers and fresh capital combined forces with the talents of the local team.

 

 

Several million dollars worth of investments and thousands of work-hours later, our Truckee employees and customers can now enjoy the benefits of a new, state-of-the-art technical facility; new wiring, node splits, and expanded fiber miles; major TV-station signals that are fed to Truckee via studio feeds and a 90-plus-mile leased fiber route over the mountains.

Those and other improvements have made a world of difference, allowing the Truckee team to win new residential and commercial customers and re-gain the confidence of the local franchise authority.

“Speaking as both a Town official and Suddenlink customer, I greatly appreciate the investments Suddenlink has made in your infrastructure in the last several years,” said Tony Lashbrook, Truckee’s Town Manager. “Complaints have gone down significantly since then.”

Assistant Town Manager Alex Terrazas shared Lashbrook’s sentiments, adding that he hopes Suddenlink will continue to make improvements: “We obviously have a lot of second homeowners from the Bay Area living here and they expect the same levels of technology and customer service in Truckee that they get in San Francisco.”

In addition to enhancements to the performance of the cable plant, the local Suddenlink team has also take advantage of new opportunities to build community good will. For instance, in June 2007, Suddenlink was the driving force behind Truckee’s first-ever “E-Waste Recycling Day,” which resulted in the collection, recycling, and/or proper disposal of more than 14 tons of old laptops, computer hard drives, television and computer monitors. Recycling these products helps save natural resources and prevent hazardous-waste pollution.

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* Truckee is officially part of the Sacramento television market, but Suddenlink’s cable system also carries Reno stations (due to that city’s proximity to Truckee) and San Francisco stations (due to the significant number of second-home owners in Truckee who hail from the Bay Area).