Sonora, CA — Clarke Broadcasting has confirmed that Mother Lode Internet has been sold to Cal.net.
After a year of negotiating, Cal.net, based out of Shingle Springs, which is between Sacramento and Placerville, purchased the local internet provider. The deal also includes the acquisition of Gold Rush Internet. Cal.net Chief Technology Officer Ken Garnett advises that customers should be getting a notice in the mail on Thursday or Friday announcing the change. Cal.net currently has 9,000 customers, and Garnett boasts, “We’re excited to serve the community and be able to leverage our experience to provide better services as quickly as possible. We’ve been around for 20 years serving the western Sierra Foothills, all the way from Nevada County down to Calaveras and Tuolumne.”
Mother Lode Internet customers will automatically be switched to Cal.net services that are the closest to their existing packages. “There is going to be some variation and some people will see a reduction in rates, others will see not much difference, and some might see an increase,” according to Garnett. He adds, “One of the things that we do that’s different is we don’t have a service contract. It’s all month to month. There is one flat price for each speed package so there’s no penalty for cancellation.”
Cal.net rates range from three megabits costing $54.95 a month to 25 megabits at $159.95 each month. However, Garnett indicates, “None of this happens by magic. It takes work, engineering and effort. There will be a period of time which we will be looking at all the networks and evaluating them and figuring out what we need to do to upgrade the engineering components so that we can improve the service. Some people will see improved service sooner than others because we can’t do everything at once.”
At least six out of the eleven Mother Lode Internet employees will remain at the Mono Way office. Garnett explains, “We kept some of the employees, and others we had to let go because of redundancy. I’d say it’s about half and half, so a good part of the staff is still on. What it means for the community, we are moving in to upgrade services to provide better speeds, better quality, better capacity. It’s just an all over upgrade in service capabilities.”
According to its website, Mother Lode Internet was founded in 1994 and was the first internet provider in the foothills. Clarke Broadcasting spoke with Mother Lode Internet CEO Ben Hulet, who confirmed the sale, and indicated that as internet has grown, more resources and infrastructure are needed. He adds, “The internet has come along way since 1994. It is now one of our most important utilities – right up there with water and power. It’s now essential to our careers and to operating our households. It’s an essential communication platform that’s now key to our social interaction and a tremendous resource for learning and entertainment. It’s replacing our phone. And with video services like Netflix and YouTube, it’s replacing our TV with more content and the ability to watch whatever we want, whenever we want.”
He adds that with the acquisition of Mother Lode Internet and Gold Rush Internet, Cal.net will now have around 50 employees.
For more information customers can call 209-591-4010.
(Mother Lode Internet is not associated with myMotherLode.com)