Broadband rolls out, piece by piece
By Pat Sunderland
Published Thursday, October 12, 2017 7:42 am
An agreement to allow Region 10 the use of excess fiber moves the City of Delta one step closer to opening its broadband network to the providers who will deliver high speed internet service to homes and businesses in the community.
The intent is for Region 10 to actively market the fiber to last mile internet service providers for low cost, high quality and high speed broadband services. In exchange for the excess fiber, Region 10 will operate and maintain the system.
The high speed broadband has been deployed to several anchor institutions, including the Delta Library, Delta City Hall, Delta Police Department, Bill Heddles Recreation Center, and the city's public works and municipal light and power departments. A circuit was recently made available to Deeply Digital to provide service to the Center for Mental Health. An agreement is pending with Delta County, and once the county is hooked up, the hospital plans to use it to connect with the West Elk Clinic in Hotchkiss.
The broadband project has been rolling out piece by piece, as Region 10 develops a diverse network with multiple partners. The City of Delta was an "early adapter of the concept," Region 10's Michelle Haynes and Chris Kennedy said at a city council work session last week.
Region 10 is also committed to redundancy. Loops within the city and within the region will make it easy to reroute service seamlessly, should the cable be cut in some location.
With the finalization of the indefeasible right of use agreement, Region 10 will begin working with Elevate to develop partnerships to the industrial work. "Then we'll start to see some real benefit from the investment the city made to get this fiber network in place," said Kennedy, broadband project director.
Elevate, a subsidiary of Delta-Montrose Electric Association, has expressed interest in serving other areas of Delta, Kennedy said. But the open access middle-mile network will be open to any service provider, including CenturyLink and Spectrum. By sharing space on the network, Haynes said they will find the cost of service considerably lower than they can do on their own. The result is expected to increase the level of competition, with speed and cost at the forefront.
"The levels of service and the pricing we will have in our communities rivals and even exceeds what they can get in Denver or Colorado Springs," Haynes said. "We're really excited about what we can expect for our communities."
The City of Delta was the first to reach full buildout of the middle-mile system, Haynes added.
"It's really exciting to be part of a community that not only on the Western Slope, but in the state and in the country, is in the forefront of this whole thing," said council member Ron Austin.