The DMEA board of directors has decided to proceed with a project that could eventually make reliable, super-fast Internet access available in areas of Delta County that are currently under-served by the service.
Announcement of the board's decision to move forward with the $3.9 million project was made by DMEA board president Nancy Hovde on June 14 at the DMEA annual meeting in Hotchkiss.
DMEA is the owner of fiber-optic cable and access to it. The cable is strung along support structures owned by itself and by Tri-State Generation and Transmission. The cable was put in place as part of a since-abandoned broadband project initiated by the DMEA members over a decade ago.
Now, DMEA has need to extend the high-capacity fiber-optic cable to its service area substations for data transfer monitoring of grid operations.
The utility's fiber-optic cable has excess capacity beyond its DMEA's own needs. So, DMEA has proposed to make a portion of the cable's capacity available to some yet undetermined local entity (existing business, startup, non-profit, or other) as a business base for providing high-speed Internet access to retail consumers.
DMEA has no plans to become a broadband supplier to end users of Internet services, said Steve Metheny, DMEA assistant manager. They propose to provide what is called a "middle mile transport" to end suppliers who provide "last mile transport" to retail users.
Details of the plan are not in place and planning is just now beginning.
"The key for us is to find how we can help leverage the investment in broadband that our members made over a decade ago," Metheny said.blog comments powered by Disqus